Shadow IT threat lingers as ANZ businesses drag feet on cloud moves

Less than 1 in 4 Australian and New Zealand businesses is in the advanced stages of planning their cloud rollout – yet with nearly half of CEOs and board members supporting the paradigm and 60 percent of respondents reporting security issues, the other organisation are not free from problems related to the cloud, a Red Hat customer survey has found.

Delays in the formulation of formal cloud strategies had exacerbated the threats from 'shadow IT', ANZ regional vice president Max McLaren said in a statement as Red Hat's inaugural Cloud Adoption Index – which saw 110 Australian and 40 New Zealand senior IT decision-makers interviewed by marketing firm Outsource on Red Hat's behalf – found that just 13.3 percent of respondents are using cloud applications or platforms with full approval from senior managers.

This low rate of approval contrasts with the known high rates of cloud services usage within most organisations, exacerbating the security threat faced by those organisations.

“Organisations using cloud technologies without senior management approval tend to do so because they cannot get the speed and agility they need from existing, approved organisational systems,” McLaren said.

“Using unapproved cloud implementations without the IT department's oversight can make the business user's job easy in the short term, but can lead to security breaches, additional costs, and IT silos in the longer term.”

This is easier said than done, however: some 28 percent of respondents said their move to adopt cloud solutions was being limited by the fact that their IT architecture was unsuitable for the new environment; application architecture (47 percent) and the complexity of existing middleware (43 percent) were “significant barriers”, the research found.

Resolving these issues would require a hybrid approach that allowed business and security measures to be gradually shifted from existing to cloud-based environments whilst enforcing consistent access and data controls across both environments, McLaren said.

“Most organisations seem to understand that the cloud can help them achieve strategic goals around improving overall business efficiency and agility,” he explained, “but to take advantage of cloud in the next few years, these organisations will need to ramp up their planning and improve their internal communication about cloud.”

This article is brought to you by Enex TestLab, content directors for CSO Australia.

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