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Some clouds may bypass IT, but someone still needs to keep the lights on

Analysts agree on one thing: don't fight cloud-based rogue IT, but embrace it.

Are IT departments being left in all that dust being created by the cloud? Is there any good that can come out of this?

That's the gist of a recent article posted by ComputerWorld article posted by Sharon Gaudin, who spoke with a number of industry analysts and observers about how businesspeople are going right to the cloud for solutions, instead of relying on their own IT departments.

Clouds and Sun 2-photo by Joe McKendrick
Photo: Joe McKendrick

Analysts appear to be in agreement about one thing: IT departments shouldn't fight shadow IT, but instead, offer guidance and consulting to make the most of such implementations. The best way to do this is by setting up strong cloud governance policies. As Gartner analyst Lydia Leong puts it in the article: IT leaders "need to set up service agreements with approved providers and set up controls for how secure information needs to be. How do they provide risk management? How do they make this work instead of just saying, 'You can't do this'."

It's clear IT needs to get out in front of this movement. It's up to IT to support the business with its choices. An option may be to develop a service catalog — or enterprise app store — that provides end-users easily accessible choices among well-vetted and supportable applications.

At the same time, it's important to keep things in perspective. Overall global IT spending is projected to hit $2.1 trillion this year, IDC predicts. Of this, $100 billion will be on cloud. While cloud and other "new IT" elements — mobile, social, data, and things — are the fastest-growing components of IT spending, it's also worth pointing out that cloud's $100 billion share is still only roughly five percent of the total IT spend.

That other 95 percent? Maintenance, storage, security, internal services, development — all the stuff that needs to be kept going by someone, and that someone is IT.

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