Jun 17

TechTarget – Enlightened shadow IT policy collaborates with users

A cloud-era shadow IT policy still needs to manage risk, but the era of “no way” is giving way to allow users quick access to the productivity apps they need.

Most IT departments have spent time rooting out the shadow, or non-IT-sanctioned, applications and systems in use within their organizations. Today, users find that cloud-based services not necessarily approved by IT enable them to quickly subscribe to applications and platforms that improve their collaboration and productivity. That advantage is prompting IT organizations to rethink how to work with users rather than have a shadow IT policy that is in full-out combat against apps that haven’t been fully blessed by the enterprise and could introduce security risks.

More of the TechTarget article from Sandra Gittlen

Aug 16

ZDNet – Half of all cloud services outside of IT departments, but IT is getting wiser

A new study from the esteemed Ponemon Institute says we still aren’t doing nearly enough to protect enterprises in the cloud.

For starters, the survey of 3,476 IT and IT security practitioners, commissioned by Gemalto, a digital security vendor, finds that half of all cloud services and corporate data stored in cloud are not controlled by IT departments. So, there’s a lot of cloud activity among business units that’s potentially not vetted or governed.

However, IT departments are getting a better handle on things, the survey also shows. Fifty-four percent of respondents are “confident” that the IT organization knows all cloud computing applications, platform or infrastructure services in use – a nine percent increase from a similar survey from 2014.

The survey doesn’t spell out how and why IT is getting a better grip on shadow cloud adoption. It may be assumed that there are more policies in place and greater communication and collaboration on best practices. IT may be getting more active in its evolving role as cloud broker or service provider to the enterprise, providing catalogs or directories of vetted services available to business users.

More of the ZDNet post from Joe McKendrick

Aug 16

TheWHIR – Nearly Half of All Corporate Data is Out of IT Department’s Control

Many organizations are not responding to the continuing spread of “Shadow IT” and cloud use with appropriate governance and security measures, and more than half do not have a proactive approach, according to research released Tuesday. The 2016 Global Cloud Data Security Study, compiled by the Ponemon Institute on behalf of Gemalto, shows that nearly half of all cloud services (49 percent) and nearly half of all corporate data stored in the cloud (47 percent) are beyond the reach of IT departments.

The report is drawn from a survey of more than 3,400 IT and IT security practitioners from around the world. It shows only 34 percent of confidential data on SaaS is encrypted, and members of the security team are only involved in one-fifth of choices between cloud applications and platforms.

IT departments are making gains in visibility, with 54 percent saying the department is aware of all cloud applications, platforms, and infrastructure services in use, up from 45 percent two years ago. Also, the number of respondents saying it is more difficult to protect data using cloud services fell from 60 to 54 percent, however those gains were offset by more broadly reported challenges in controlling end-user access.

More of the WHIR post from Chris Burt

Jul 16

ManageEngine – Bimodal IT- Double the action, twice as fun

Christopher Reeve, Brandon Routh, and Henry Cavill are all big names and share one thing in common. What connects them is the fictional superhuman bimodal character they have all embodied. And who doesn’t love that character? He’s Superman. He can do it all.

In one mode, he falls well within most conventional norms and fits perfectly into a world of indifference and acceptance. In his other mode, though, he’s a symbol of change. He’s something the world has never seen before, and something the world agrees with. His kind of change is good. His kind of change brings hope.

Now let’s bring IT into this picture. What can IT folks learn from him? And how can they harness that hope? It’s simple—go bimodal. Stability is a must and change is unavoidable. But that doesn’t mean that both can’t coexist. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2017, 75 percent of IT organizations will have a bimodal approach. In this approach, mode one is about legacy and predictability, leading to stability and accuracy. Mode two is about innovation and exploration, which lead to agility and speed.

More of the ManageEngine article from Ravi Prakash

Jul 16

CIO Insight – Why IT Departments Lack Diversity Programs

The majority of IT departments and their organizations are doing relatively little to increase workforce diversity, according to a recent survey from TEKsystems. Very few tech pros and leaders, for example, said their company has a formal diversity program in place. They admit that they struggle to find quality talent to fill open IT positions, but they don’t often consider diversity in recruitment efforts—ignoring the value of existing diversity programs which could help close gaps.

“While IT departments struggle to find qualified IT workers for their teams, our data indicates that most have yet to leverage diversity programs to help solve that challenge,” said Michelle Webb, director of diversity and inclusion for TEKsystems. “In our conversations with clients regarding diversity initiatives, we’ve found that IT departments are less aware of the value that diversity programs can play in their skills-sourcing efforts when compared to human resources or business leadership.

With the shortage of qualified IT workers likely to increase, organizations need to add diversity programs to their arsenal to address their hiring needs.

More of the CIO Insight slideshow from Dennis McCafferty

Apr 16

Continuity Central – The benefits of moving business critical to the cloud

The key difference is the way in which cloud allows these problems to be mitigated, resolved, and avoided in future.

Core enterprise applications such as ERP are not as readily moved off-site as other applications – but they’re propelling a new wave of cloud adoption. Andres Richter explains why organizations should consider making the switch.

Modern enterprise management software has come a long way from its industrial routes in providing procurement and manufacturing functionalities. Responding to changes in the technology landscape such as mobility, big data analytics and cloud computing, the software has had no choice but to evolve. Employees now require instant information at their fingertips, wherever they are, from any device. Unsurprisingly, core business functions of modern enterprise resource planning (ERP) such as financials, operations, HR and analytics require the same, consumerized flexibility offered by a plethora of non-business critical cloud-based applications. But it’s only the CIOs committed to future proofing their IT who have spotted this opportunity and have made the move from on-premise to a cloud-only or an integrated approach.

While vendors look at ways to disrupt the market, the challenge of convincing ‘stick in the mud’ IT decision makers that business continuity can be maintained during the transition to cloud ERP and beyond remains: but we are seeing an increase. Panorama Consulting’s ERP Report 2016 sees 27 percent of businesses adopting cloud ERP, a rise from 11 percent in the previous year. In our experience, more than 20 percent of current customers at Priority Software are already in the cloud. The take-up is particularly high in industries such as digital media, professional services and business services.

More of the Continuity Central post

Apr 16

Baseline – How Shadow IT Can Generate Huge Savings

The majority of organizations are allowing—and some are even encouraging—employees to create mobile business apps without any involvement from the IT department, according to a survey from Canvas. The company’s “3rd Annual Mobile Business Application” survey reveals that corporate and IT executives no longer fear such shadow IT practices, especially when they’ve demonstrated the ability to boost productivity and innovation, while driving down operating costs. Many company decision-makers, in fact, are comfortable with this emerging trend and are investing in tablet acquisitions to encourage work teams to expand such efforts. “Innovation is occurring at such a rapid pace in the enterprise that employees do not want to wait around for overwhelmed IT departments, so plug-and-play cloud services are transforming everyday employees into citizen developers,” said James Robins, CMO at Canvas. “Business decision-makers and IT departments recognize this evolution, and are shifting their perspective of shadow IT from a perceived liability to an invaluable tool for rapid innovation and cost management.” Nearly 400 business and IT decision-makers took part in the research. – See more at: http://www.baselinemag.com/it-management/slideshows/how-shadow-it-can-generate-huge-savings.html#sthash.1JbQwy1Q.dpuf

More of the Baseline article from Dennis McCafferty

Feb 16

Baseline – What Worries IT Organizations the Most?

IT employees and leaders have a lot to worry about these days, according to a recent survey from NetEnrich. For starters, they’re spending too much money on technology that either doesn’t get used or fails to deliver on its promises, findings show. They devote too many hours to “keeping the lights on” rather than innovating. And the increase of tech acquisition decisions being made outside of the IT department (shadow IT) elevates existing risks about cyber-security and business app performance. Meanwhile, tech departments are still struggling with a lack of available talent to support agility and business advances. “Corporate IT departments are in a real bind,” said Raju Chekuri, CEO at NetEnrich.

More of the Baseline slideshow from Dennis McCafferty

Feb 16

CIOInsight – How to Embrace Rogue IT

Rogue IT is the foundation upon which innovation can be built. Rather than being restricted by traditional application and product development processes, non-IT teams can rapidly deploy solutions matching business requirements, thus accelerating new cost savings and resource efficiencies.

You might as well embrace rogue IT, or shadow IT, which will continue to grow in importance, and its impact will be felt globally, according to Tim Kelleher, vice president of IT Security Services at Century Link. Rogue IT might just lead to innovation and competitive advantage, he says. Employees increasingly will bypass corporate IT by subscribing to new collaboration, analytics or other cloud services to get work done, he says. Others will build homegrown applications via the cloud and other development platforms. This trend to remove power from corporate hands is enough to strike fear in any CIO because security risks and bandwidth restrictions can accompany each new project. On the other hand, “while the natural tendency is to limit unauthorized usage,” says Kelleher, “rogue IT can prove very useful to organizations today, driving new levels of innovation and productivity.

More of the CIO Insight slide show

Feb 16

Baseline – Why IT Pros Give Tech Transformation a Weak Grade

Few front-line technology workers give their companies high marks for adapting to new, transformative tech, according to a recent survey from Business Performance Innovation (BPI) and Dimension Data. The resulting report, “Bringing Dexterity to IT Complexity: What’s Helping or Hindering IT Tech Professionals,” indicates that most organizations haven’t even begun to transform IT—or are just getting started. A major sore spot: A lack of collaboration and/or alignment with the business side, as most tech staffers said business teams wait too long to bring IT into critical planning processes. This, combined with a lack of funding and other resources, results in tech departments spending too much time on legacy maintenance and far too little on essential advances that bring value to the business. “Instead of ushering their companies into a new age of highly agile innovation, IT workers are hindered by a growing list of maintenance tasks, staff cutbacks and aging infrastructure,” according to the report.

More of the Baseline Magazine article from Dennis McCafferty