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Cisco Live Berlin: Managing the Hyper Adoption of Cloud

As I shared in my last blog, cloud use is rampant, pervasive, exploding! As a short recap, large organization are now using an average of 1,220 cloud services (most unknown to IT departments). The tremendous spike in cloud service usage presents challenges for IT including higher business risks, costs, and a shortage of IT resources to manage a multi-cloud environment.

At Cisco Live Berlin and Cisco Live Cloud Day this week I will be meeting with customers to share how we can help organizations manage the massive influx of cloud services within their organization. CLberlin

The lines of business have spoken. The sheer number of services being used highlights that lines of business are rapidly turning to cloud to improve business agility, enable new digital business models, and improve performance.

You can’t manage what you can’t see! The first step in managing cloud use is to put in place capabilities to monitor and manage cloud use within an organization. At this week’s event, we’ll be demonstrating how Cisco Cloud Consumption as a Service can help IT leaders understand and manage their cloud use.

Cloud Consumption as a Service discovers and continually monitors public cloud use across an organization. When combined with detailed analytics and benchmarking from Cisco, this insight helps businesses reduce security risks and better understand and manage costs. This enables IT teams to partner more effectively with business groups and make educated decisions about the right cloud services.

Attending Cisco Live Berlin?

  • Attend our Session: I’ll be hosting a 90 minute breakout on “Managing the Hyper Adoption and Business Risks of Cloud” (BRKCLD-4002) on Wednesday, February 17, 2016 at 11:30 a.m. This session will provide an in-depth look at public cloud adoption within organizations and a 5-step approach to managing cloud service adoption and reducing business risk.
  • Visit our booth at Cisco Live Berlin to see a demonstration of Cloud Consumption as a Service and learn more about professional services that can help you establish cloud monitoring and cloud lifecycle management.

Can’t attend?

As always, feel free to chat with me @robertdimicco for questions and comments.

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Shadow IT: Rampant, Pervasive, and Explosive!

When wireless for LAN burst onto the scene, companies were a lot slower than their employees to embrace it. Employees didn’t want to be tied to their desks.  So they brought in their own wireless access points, stashing them under desks and in conference rooms. Soon companies began realizing they had a big mess of unsecured Wi-Fi AP’s on their hands—a problem for any organization trying to keep their data and intellectual property secure.

Shadow IT isn’t new. As new technologies emerge, employees leap frog over IT in search of better ways to do their jobs. Cloud is no different.

What makes cloud stand out from past shadow IT situations is the magnitude of the challenge.
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To shed light on shadow IT cloud use, we analyzed actual network traffic data and statistics garnered from Cisco Cloud Consumption Service engagements with large enterprise customers six months ago and again at the end of 2015. The conclusion: the shadow IT challenge is rampant, pervasive, and growing explosively.

Shadow IT is indiscriminate. It is found in every industry, in every organization (even those who block internet traffic), and in organizations of all sizes. The average large enterprise now uses 1,220 individual cloud services, up from 730 six months ago. That’s up to 25 times more than recognized by IT—who estimate that they are using 91 public cloud services. The number of cloud services used by large organizations has grown an astonishing 67 percent over the past six months, and 112 percent over the past year.

We’re essentially witnessing a democratization of IT. The business groups have spoken and they want the flexibility and innovation cloud services can deliver. There’s no turning back the clock here. In fact, a recent IDC study commissioned by Cisco clearly shows an optimized cloud strategy delivers dramatic business benefits. But only 10 percent of organizations have a proactive cloud strategy, with only 1 percent fully optimized. This means that 90% of the market has reactive, fragmented strategies.

Risks Hiding in the Shadows

The uncoordinated use of public cloud can leave the business open to a wide range of risks. Our customer engagements helped us identify the top five business risks:

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#1—Business Continuity

As cloud services are increasingly used to support business operations, service disruptions can have a significant impact. Service disruptions can result from planned and unplanned outages, disasters, or from inability of a cloud provider to meet acceptable recovery times.

There is also a potential for a cloud provider to cease operations due to financially-based shut-down, acquisition, or other operational failure. Based on financial viability scores provided by Dunn and Bradstreet, we have found that 26% of cloud providers used by Cloud Consumption customers are ranked very high or high risk of ceasing operations in 12 months. That is one out of every four vendors! If a vendor you were using ceased operations, could you replace them quickly or retrieve your data in a timely manner?

#2—Data Protection

With more critical data residing in the cloud, it is vital for organizations to ensure that business data (customer, employee, partner) is being protected from malicious acts. The first step is to ensure you are using vendors with a strong track-record of data protection and adequate policies. Could you identify vendors who might pose a risk to your data protection policies? The cloud can be extremely secure, but all cloud services aren’t created equal. You’d be surprised at how many high-risk vendors you might be using. Cloud Consumption customers discover they are using an average of 44 high-risk services.

#3—Regulatory Compliance

CIOs are responsible for ensuring that cloud services being used by their organization follow policies that would keep the organization compliant with regulations as well as understand what services they are using might be included in an audit. Of the top 100 cloud services used by Cloud Consumption customers, 60% are subject to major regulatory compliance issues and contain data that would be subject to an audit. (The four major regalatory complaince issues are financial reporting/SOX, Protected Health Information/HIPPA, Payment Card Industry, and FedRAMP) If you have an audit coming up, would you understand what services might be included?

#4—Costs

Increasingly, lines of business are making purchasing decisions often without oversight for IT. As every company becomes a technology company and budgets shifts to line of business, organizations are faced with runaway cloud spend. Why? They are spending money on redundant services and are facing hidden costs.

Do you know how much your organization is actually spending on cloud? Are you negotiating discounts on behalf of the entire business?

One of the quick wins our customer have found is around redundant cloud services.  Organizations are often using multiple service providers that offer similar functionality. We have found that customers on average use:

  • 92 hosting services to gain internet access
  • 84 marketing and sales services
  • 71 financial services such as banking and tax cloud applications and hosted insurance
  • 61 compute services for running cloud-based systems
  • 51 collaboration services like video & web conferencing, on-line training, education, and desktop sharing (not including social media)
  • 46 cloud storage services to store unstructured data (not including backup and recovery)
  • 37 office productivity services to produce documentation or manage projects
  • 36 business intelligence services such as dashboards, reporting systems, scenario modelling, and data analysis

#5—Service Performance

Organizations have ineffective capabilities to monitor performance against service level agreements and are challenged to determine if they are receiving what they paid for. This problem is magnified when lines of business rather than IT are overseeing negotiations and might not be aware of contract pitfalls. Do you know if your providers are meeting their SLAs?

You Can’t Manage What You Can’t See

If you answered no to any of my questions above, you may need our help!

To help CIO’s manage their shadow IT issues,we   last week. The new software-as-a-service product can help you to:

  • Discover and continually monitor public cloud use
  • Reduce your financial and security exposure by identifying cloud business risks and compliance issues.
  • Cut cloud costs by finding ways to consolidate or discontinue services.
  • Strategically manage cloud use by understanding needs of employees and internal groups and benchmarking cloud usage data against your peers.
  • Improve business agility by finding the right cloud services to meet your business, risk, and compliance requirements.

Sound interesting? I’m hosting a webinar on how to “Discover and Managing Your Shadow IT” on Wednesday January 20th at 9 am PDT. I encourage you to register HERE to learn more.

If you want to know more about your cloud please contact us for a demonstration of Cloud Consumption as a Service or learn more.

 

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A Promise From A Cloud Provider That Means Something

There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes in cloud. This makes it difficult to know how reliable a provider’s cloud is going to be. Many are best-effort implementations, meaning you only have the provider’s word for it that their cloud is reliable. These providers also often employ a white-box infrastructure so you don’t know what kind of equipment your data is running over or how well integrated that infrastructure is. You have no guarantees, not even an SLA. It’s your business on the line if the cloud goes down. That’s a lot for a cloud provider to ask when they promise, “Trust me.”

And therein lies the power behind Cisco Powered. The promise that a cloud provider who offers Cisco Powered services makes is not just words. It’s a promise with teeth. To use the Cisco Powered ingredient brand, providers must first go through a comprehensive certification process. Then, each and every one of their Cisco Powered services must pass a rigorous third-party audit.

This audit isn’t just a formality. Many of our partners have been surprised at how hard the audit is to pass. But it’s hard for a reason. There’s a lot that can go wrong in the cloud. A provider new to cloud may not be familiar with many of the pitfalls that await them. The audit is there to verify that the provider can and will deliver superior service, security, and support. And they only pass the audit when they are able to prove to a third-party that they can do this.

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Many of these same vendors are the ones who praise the audit once it’s completed. They see the value of making sure that they can deliver. They understand that because the audit is so comprehensive and difficult, they are able to immediately offer a level of service unparalleled in the industry.

The final facet of the reliability of Cisco Powered services is the fact that they run on Cisco equipment. You trust Cisco in your data center and the network. Now you can trust Cisco in the cloud. In addition, because your data and applications are running on Cisco architectures, you’ll know your data is safe with end-to-end security.

The promise of Cisco Powered is that you can connect with confidence. It isn’t a promise our partners make lightly. They’ve worked hard and made a substantial investment in time and money to prove that they can deliver.

There’s a reason Cisco Powered is the industry standard for cloud and managed services. It’s a promise that stands up to its name.

 

Learn more about the promise of Cisco Powered and the Partners offering these services

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Turbo-Charge Your Cloud Conversations and Uncover New Business Opportunities

I’ve spent a lot of time on the road over the last few months.  Europe.  Asia.  Canada.  Latin America.  And everywhere I go I talk to our partners.  The one constant: frustration over their ability to have a deep conversation with customers about cloud. Partners have told me their customers want to hear how they can leverage applications and cloud services to impact their business outcomes. However, they also say that their conversations are often relegated to ‘box-level’ discussions about speed and feeds and costs of specific technologies at the bidding phase of the deal.

What if I told you that you can discover every single cloud CS-info_blogservice your customers are using and help them understand the potential business risk or compliance challenges they are facing. And, armed with such insight, that you can uncover new cloud, security, and data center opportunities.

Too good to be true?  Partners can do all that and more with our new Cisco Cloud Consumption as a Service. This new product, now generally available, helps customers solve a significant challenge for their business and, at the same time, provides partners with insights and concrete data to help transform cloud conversations with their customers.

Shadow IT: Growing Exponentially

Customers are facing an explosion of cloud use. And it’s becoming a major headache for IT leaders.

On average, large organizations are now using 1,220 individual cloud services, largely without oversight, which leads to increased risk and spiraling costs. And it’s growing by leaps and bounds. The average number of cloud services used has grown 112% over the past year, and 67% over the past six months.  Additionally, the hidden cost of public cloud services is four to eight times higher than billed costs.

Cloud Consumption as a Service helps customers discover and monitor which cloud services are being used across the organization. It helps customers mitigate cloud risks, uncover redundant services to reduce costs, and compare providers and benchmark usage. Ultimately, it helps organizations strategically manage their cloud use and gain insight to inform their cloud roadmap.

If this sounds interesting, make sure to watch our Cloud Consumption overview video.

Read More »

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Next Stop Dallas: Learn How to Automate, Optimize, and Transform your Service Delivery

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 12.28.03 PMGuest blog by Ram , SP Infrastructure Marketing Manager

Service providers everywhere are trying to simplify their networks – moving services to the cloud that are easier to roll out, can be provisioned by the customer, and enable new business models.

Cisco’s virtual managed service (vMS) solution uses a self-service online portal to give end users a simple way to select, subscribe to and activate highly secure and scalable network services – even if the underlying network is multivendor. The VMS platform service function packages includescloud VPNs for branch, site-to-site and remote access encrypted VPNs, as well as firewall and web security, all offered as a cloud-managed IT solution on a subscription basis.

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End users have access to a management dashboard on which they can track the Read More »

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