April 29, 2019
Embracing the Cloud
There are several ways that an organization can start the process of taking advantage of services hosted by cloud providers. One of the least popular ways of moving services to the cloud is Shadow IT — at least by enterprise department IT standards.
What is shadow IT?
Shadow IT occurs when non-IT staff set up their own IT services without first consulting the IT department. Because of the vast number of cloud providers and differing levels of security, this can put an organization’s data at risk.
What can you learn from Shadow IT?
Although Shadow IT isn’t popular within IT departments, there is a lot to be learned from what users are trying to accomplish when they source external IT services.
Many users are seeking the flexibility that cloud services can provide. This flexibility includes quickly spinning up and down services, leading to the ability to achieve a faster rate of iteration. For example, it is often faster for developers to reinstall an application on a clean OS than to troubleshoot and correct what went wrong with the previous installation.
IT Infrastructure through a new lens.
IT infrastructure teams are finding that they need to change what they provide to their internal customers. This requires looking at services through a new lens. IT infrastructure teams can help an organization step to the cloud by providing automation around existing IT infrastructure. Instead of viewing IT infrastructure as the service provided, IT departments need to look at being a provider of a portal to their users.
Within this framework, portal users are able to provision their own system without concern for the underlying infrastructure. By setting up a portal to access the infrastructure of an organization, the IT infrastructure team can then work on making sure the infrastructure available to the users is secure, has the appropriate corporate policies (i.e., Life Cycle, High Availability, User Access, etc.), and minimizes costs for the organization.
Once a portal is in place, the IT infrastructure team can then look at the best location for hosting business services. This could be existing on-premise equipment, a hosting provider, or a cloud service.