Originally published by Apps Tech News on July 27, 2015

A new report from Fruition Partners argues CIOs are not applying traditional IT service management (ITSM) processes to cloud technologies.

The survey, which buttonholed 100 CIOs, revealed more than four in five (83%) say ‘cloud sprawl’ makes IT management more complex. Looking at it another way, IT departments simply are not applying the same testing standards to the cloud as they would for in house IT services. One company, in the construction sector, found they had 300 copies of a cloud-based project management tool for only 200 project managers.

Indeed, while 65% of those polled used ITSM for on premise asset management, the number shrank to 7% for cloud. It was a similar story across the board, from incident management (77% on prem, 22% cloud), change management (72% on prem, 21% cloud) and configuration management (51% on prem, 15% cloud) among others.

The dreaded phrase ‘shadow IT’ also makes several appearances in the report, with Fruition detailing stories of woe from various employers whose workforce used non-approved, usually cloud-based services. One multinational firm ended up having to go to court – across three continents – to get client data back from an employee who had exported it to an unauthorised cloud storage system without her employer’s permission, before moving to a competitor.

60% of those polled said the simplicity with which employees can sign up to public cloud services without IT’s approval is putting the organisation at risk. More than three quarters (79%) suspect there are cloud apps being used by individuals that IT does not know about, while a similar number (78%) argue there is financial waste due to these non-approved products being used without service management processes.

In a sense, the report doesn’t blame the employees for taking the quick fix. As one CIO put it; if IT takes three weeks to respond for new VM requests and an employee’s on project deadline, the allure of a public cloud solution is going to be high. More than half (53%) of those polled said with software as a service (SaaS) applications, if they have problems they deal with the cloud provider’s support team directly – and IT is often happy for them to do that.

Paul Cash is the managing director of Fruition Partners UK. He tellsEnterprise AppsTech shadow IT is both a risk and an opportunity for the CIO; however they should not become a ‘CI-NO’ but more an enabler of change.

“Shadow IT is a threat to businesses in a number of dimensions; security, cost, data leakage,” he says. “However, the constructive channelling of the energy and enthusiasm of the business to obtain the right IT tools for the job can indeed have a very positive effect for the CIO.

“The fact that a shadow IT infrastructure builds up is actually a great chance for the CIO to take that existing knowledge, and to deliver the services back to the business in a more controlled and managed fashion,” he adds.

Yet the overall report argues the shadow IT culture and cloud sprawl is giving the CIO headaches. It offers three best practice tips for C-level execs to ‘bring the cloud under control’: focusing on the user, to provide a better service to the organisation; focusing on IT services, and how they can make better use of ITSM processes; and focusing on business needs, by more effective measuring and monitoring.

Find out more about the research and download the report here.