Effective Business Leaders Conduct Cloud Assessments

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"Cloud assessments are a must, especially if an organization is in the process of a data center consolidation,” says Al Sadowski of 451 Research.

CIOs have a long list of to-dos: They must support the needs of the business, rein in capital costs, protect company and customer data, and of course, find innovations that generate revenues.

But there’s another factor complicating their lives: Rogue adopters of cloud services.

IT environments are quickly moving beyond the four walls of corporate-owned, on-premise data centers as lines of business (LoBs) start to implement public cloud.

LoB owners are choosing public cloud solutions because it can be easier than approaching IT to build custom options. Cloud solutions can offer fast, immediate gratification—without the complexities and expense of in-house IT.

 “Cloud-based services that are ready in an instant can bypass bottlenecks and immediately free up capacity that may be needed to move the business forward,” says Freeman Bradley, managing director, strategic accounts for 451 Research.

The issue for CIOs in “rogue” cloud adoption is  lack of control and visibility. As service brokers, CIOs need simplification, transparency, and control of services selected, provisioned, and consumed from several cloud sources—private, public, and hybrid.

Typically a company has 10 to 15 times more unsanctioned public cloud services in place than CIOs estimate, the data security and budgetary implications are disconcerting and must be addressed.

CIOs need to know how their companies are adopting cloud technologies by having necessary discussions with LoBs to better serve the business and elevate the IT team as a strategic broker in selecting and managing cloud services.

One of the most powerful tools CIOs can use to determine what’s going on in the organization is a cloud consumption assessment. These assessments help CIOs learn how to better serve their organizations. It is vitally important to continually monitor cloud consumption within the organization. It helps to ensure IT is evolving to meet business needs and that assets are not at risk due to poorly assessed cloud services.

Through cloud assessments, IT leaders can increase transparency and control of cloud services while effectively driving value and managing risks. Cloud consumption assessments answer vital questions such as:

  • What clouds are being tapped among LoBs, and are they being used effectively to support the right processes and capabilities?
  • What are the clouds’ risk profiles?
  • What are their data security and privacy policies?
  • How much are we spending on public cloud and can we negotiate or consolidate our cloud usage to drive down expenses?
  • How are the cloud services managed? What are their SLAs?
  • Why did a specific LoB decide to “go rogue” and adopt their own cloud infrastructure.

This information can be used to have more fruitful discussions about how the overall IT organization can advance the needs of the business.

451 Research has found that cloud consumption assessments can result in multiple benefits. They can help CIOs better serve their organizations by pinpointing why LoBs are tapping into clouds versus using existing IT resources and what risks the business may be facing. There may be opportunities to consolidate cloud consumption among business units and obtain bulk pricing and better support.

“A cloud visibility assessment represents the perfect opportunity to decide whether to build, buy, or adapt. Cloud assessments are a must, especially if an organization is in the process of a data center consolidation,” says Al Sadowski, director, Service Providers 451 Research.

“A cloud consumption assessment is one of the first things I would do as a new CIO to understand what my entire IT asset inventory is, beyond the confines of traditional data centers, and what I have to wrestle with.”

The bottom line: cloud assessment services are an important way for CIOs to drive innovation and become more effective business leaders and enablers. The goal: get the cloud consumption intelligence needed to get a full picture of IT assets and better serve the organization.

More Information: Find out how you can get started with your own Cloud Consumption Assessment.