Why CIOs cannot ‘blindly trust’ public cloud services in their organisation

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Cloud maturity is on the rise, although plenty of problems remain, according to the latest survey data from service management technology provider Fruition Partners.

The study, which was undertaken by Vanson Bourne and polled 400 CIOs from the UK and US, found that for almost three quarters (73%) of respondents, “significant” financial waste is occurring with cloud adoption without IT insight. Yet 85% of CIOs polled believe cloud is reducing their organisations’ control over IT.

“The maturity of cloud services has started to improve, but it is still leagues away from where it needs to be,” said Paul Cash, Fruition Partners UK managing partner. “There has to be a recognition that the need for rigorous management is greater, not less, in the cloud.”

The numbers continue to be worryingly high. 62% of respondents say there are cloud applications being used in the business without IT’s knowledge – otherwise known as shadow IT – while CIOs say more than two thirds of their colleagues (68%) do not feel the need to consult IT when procuring cloud services.

Comparing these figures with 2015’s findings, there is certainly a change afoot. Last year’s analysis found that CIOs were not applying traditional IT service management (ITSM) processes to cloud technologies. One eye-opening example was of a construction firm which had 300 copies of a cloud-based project management tool for only 200 project managers. This time around, in-house IT is on average managed by a combination of six processes; cloud, in contrast, has on average four.

Yet the knock-on effect of the infiltration of cloud applications is that while employees move cloud services into the business, the CIO will end up getting the flak. “CIOs cannot blindly trust that public cloud services will work flawlessly and be delivered perfectly at all times,” said Cash. “The more responsibility CIOs hand over to providers, without ensuring that established ITSM principles are applied, the more they open themselves up to blame if one of those services fails.

“CIOs should still be managing cloud services internally, rather than abdicating responsibility to the provider,” he added. “Otherwise they risk losing control, and increasing both cost and risk to themselves and the business.”

Fruition, which was bought by CSC in 2015, put together three steps for CIOs to, as they put it, ‘bring the cloud under control’ for last year’s report. Focus on the user to provide a better service, focus on business needs and collaborate across functions, and focus on IT strategy and how to make better use of ITSM. Perhaps worryingly, the company feels that not enough has changed for it to alter its message this year.

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