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Gain Intelligence From Cloud Sprawl

Co-authored with    Bob Dimicco
Robert Dimicco
Senior Director, Advanced Services

 

How many cloud services do you think your enterprise uses? You’ll be surprised: businesses use ~10-15 X more cloud services – unknowingly. This is what we call ‘cloud sprawl,’ because there are too many cloud services in a given environment and not enough visibility or control for the business.

For organizations wanting to better understand their critical business data, this is especially challenging. First, discovering what cloud services are being used, and second, capturing & analyzing the intelligence from cloud services data can be tough. However, the good news is – Cisco can help with these challenges.

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Get Your Cloud Assessed – And Better Manage It Too

In the last two years, we’ve used Cisco Cloud Consumption Assessment and helped many customers discover and understand their cloud services, costs and security risks.

The results are surprising! On average, enterprises use nearly 675 cloud services, have much more risk controls needing attention, and use the same cloud services across multiple categories like compute and storage. After a cloud assessment, most IT and business leaders find themselves faced with a TON of cloud usage. So what should they do next?

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How Do You Protect Your Business If Your Cloud Service Provider Fails?

By the end of this year, Gartner predicts 1 of 4 cloud service providers (CSPs) will no longer be in business due to consolidation or lack of funding. Based on the explosive growth of cloud use, you are likely using SaaS to support business critical functions and IaaS compute or storage services from the cloud. What happens if that SaaS or IaaS cloud vendor isn’t there tomorrow?

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Cisco Cloud Consumption at Cisco Live!

Cloud sprawl is a huge, growing challenge. On average, large companies use 645 individual cloud services, which has grown 17% in just six months. What’s crazy is when you ask IT teams to estimate, they think they’re only using about 40 cloud services (yikes!).

I’m at Cisco Live US this week in San Diego – and wanted to share with you our Cloud Consumption portal and booth (check it out below). With Cloud Consumption Services, you can discover all the cloud services you’re using (SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS), understand data security risks you’re facing, review cloud provider risk profiles, benchmark cloud usage against peers, and other useful things.

To learn more:

  • Visit us at our booth at Cisco Live US this week and meet the Cloud Consumption Service team
  • Learn more about how Cloud Consumption Services can help you better manage a new world of many clouds

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Identifying and Solving the Cloud Sprawl Problem

An interesting read for me one day last week was the Wall Street Journal reporting on the exploding yet ungoverned use of cloud services by employees in just about every organization.  Referring to Rachael King writing for CIO Journal, author Steve Rosenbush outlines the potential for security problems and the surprising reaction of companies who start to understand how many cloud services employees are really using.

The facts of unregulated cloud usage are surprising, no debate.  A few months back I was talking to an industry analyst and I asked him how many cloud providers enterprise organizations knew they had, and how many were actually being used by employees.  He replied “probably 5 or 6” are known, and “maybe 10 or so are actually in use in total”.  “So maybe double?” I replied to confirm my understanding.   He nearly fell off his chair when I told him what we are finding in Cisco Services engagement, that it’s more like a factor of 10-15 than a factor of 1-2!  (as the following diagram shows)

Cloud Usage

There are two aspects to this problem I’d like to discuss in this blog, identifying the cloud usage and then both consolidating and tidying it up, with the aim of increasing security and saving you money in  the process.  I’ll also related this to two key services we offer in this arena, Cisco Cloud Consumption Services and Cisco Cloud On-boarding Services.

 

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