IT leaders are seeing a dramatic rise in cloud services purchased without their approval, often known as shadow IT. Shadow IT implementations turn up when employees or teams implement a cloud service that is not managed or integrated into the company’s IT infrastructure. Although many IT teams are aware that shadow IT is happening, they are often unaware of how many cloud applications are being used.

The Challenge of Shadow IT

Cisco’s IT department recently discovered that it was only aware of 20 percent of cloud service providers such as Dropbox and Evernote being accessed by employees. Our customers tell us that they believe they are consuming 5 to 10 times more cloud services than they realized.

There are two main reasons why shadow IT is a challenge: cost and risk.

Customers only have a partial understanding of their cloud costs. Twelve years ago technology spending outside of IT was 20 percent of total technology spend. As more businesses digitize their revenues and services, technology spending outside IT will reach nearly 90 percent by the end of the decade, according to Gartner.

More cloud services will be purchased without IT involvement as technology expenditures shift to organizational lines of business. Thus IT will have a narrow view of its cloud spend, resulting in duplication of service costs and the loss of its collective bargaining power to negotiate contracts with service providers.

Organizations also face increased risk as more business takes place over the public cloud. By 2016, 50 percent of Global 1000 companies will have customer data stored in the public cloud, according to Gartner. It falls to IT to make sure that new cloud services are approved and meet company policies for security, performance, and compliance standards. Without IT awareness, businesses face potential exposure of confidential information through a cloud data breach or outage.

Managing Cloud Costs and Risk

To help you address the challenges of shadow IT, we have introduced Cisco Cloud Consumption Services. This new professional service automates the discovery of public cloud vendors and helps you gain visibility of public cloud usage, manage cloud costs and risks, and increase your business agility.

Cisco Cloud Consumption Services automate the discovery of cloud service providers (CSPs) being accessed by employees in your organization and provide you with a dashboard view of all authorized and unauthorized cloud services. Our cloud experts will perform a detailed analysis of your cloud usage, providing you with a cloud consumption risk profile with CSP risk rankings and mitigation recommendations. You’ll also receive a detailed financial analysis that identifies your public cloud spend and finds opportunities to optimize costs. We will also conduct an initial cloud governance evaluation to help you identify ways to improve your cloud governance processes and deliver a cloud management workshop on best practices for managing CSPs.

Cisco Cloud Consumption Services will help you:

Gain visibility of unauthorized cloud services, typically identifying 5 to 10 times more services than authorized by IT.

Manage public cloud risks by understanding and addressing risk and compliance issues.

Reduce cloud costs by identifying your overall cloud spend and opportunities for consolidating or illuminating redundant services.

Gain greater business agility with stronger cloud governance processes that help to quickly launch cloud services.


Regain Control Over Your Public Cloud Consumption

If you allow your employees to access the Internet, you have a shadow IT problem. You might just not realize it. Today 23 percent of technology spend is devoted to cloud, and this is expected to grow by 17 percent in three years, according to a recent survey of IT leaders conducted by Cisco and Intel. As spending on cloud services grows, your shadow IT implementations will grow as well.

Cisco Cloud Consumption Services will provide you with detailed information about how your employees are using the cloud: information that could take you months to obtain manually. Contact Cisco Services today to learn more about how we can help you gain insight into your cloud consumption with Cisco Cloud Consumption Services.

To find out more about the effects of cloud on IT consumption models, visit
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