IDG Contributor Network: Is shadow IT something CIOs should worry about?

Pervasiveness of shadow IT

I talked to several CIOs in the #CIOChat recently about shadow IT.Their collective wisdom is shared in this post. The first thing that impressed me in this chat is that the CIOs know the numbers. CIOs shared what they had learned from Cisco, Gartner, and Brocade. Cisco found that shadow cloud use was greater than 15 times higher than estimated by CIOs. CIOs said that Gartner’s research found that more than 40 percent of IT spend is in fact shadow IT. And Brocade, which did a global survey of 200 CIOs, found that more than 80 percent had seen some form of unauthorized cloud/SaaS usage.

Does the presence of shadow IT make a statement?

I asked the CIOs whether the presence of shadow IT makes a statement about business/IT alignment. CIOs had a wide range of answers to this question. CIOs said that often the real problem is not shadow IT but why and how shadow IT emerged. CIOs suggest that in many cases, shadow IT is in fact a symptom of unmet needs. It can as well imply a perceived lack of speed for IT versus the needs of the business.

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CIO Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: 3 steps CIOs can take to lead more strategically in 2017

It’s time to rethink the CIO title. Are you responsible for keeping the trains running on time and the lights on, or are you providing the thought leadership and guidance within your own organization to maximize value and business agility?

Most C-level executives run the risk of doing the perp walk in handcuffs out of the office and ultimately wearing an orange jumpsuit if their subordinates break the rules or screw up – and while you serve a valuable function, this is not true for the CIO. 2017 needs to be the year where you go from “serving” to “leading.”

To earn your keep, you need to show both value and accountability at a minimum. A-grade CIOs identify opportunities to drive business growth – and A+ ones do it with fewer resources, not more.

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CIO Cloud Computing

CIOs: Shadow IT is actually great for your cloud strategy

In a survey, cloud security broker vendor CipherCloud found that 86 percent of cloud applications used at workplaces are unsanctioned. That’s a pretty big percentage. Obviously, the security vendors have an incentive to raise such fears about shadow IT, so take this claim with much salt. However, the issue merits attention.

I don’t see shadow IT as that big of deal. Moreover, I believe that CIOs can embrace, rather than fight, the rise of shadow IT for their own benefit. How?

There are three benefits to the CIO from departments’ shadow cloud use.

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Network World Cloud Computing

CIOs: Shadow IT is actually great for your cloud strategy

In a survey, cloud security broker vendor CipherCloud found that 86 percent of cloud applications used at workplaces are unsanctioned. That’s a big percentage. Obviously, the security vendors have an incentive to raise such fears about shadow IT, so take this claim with much salt. However, the issue merits attention.

I don’t see shadow IT as that big of deal. Moreover, I believe that CIOs can embrace, rather than fight, the rise of shadow IT for their own benefit. How?

There are three benefits to the CIO from departments’ shadow cloud use.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

InfoWorld Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: A key factor in the CIO’s ability to drive change

I recently met with a major player in the Internet of Things (IoT) space, and the company is incredibly frustrated with how developments are evolving. They pointed out the promise of the IoT but said it’s not evolving much beyond the use case of predictive maintenance. It seems people are In Denial (ID). Why aren’t use cases and revenue opportunities in the IoT exploding? I believe the hindrance is the same as it is when trying to drive change through any new technology: the change is cross-functional.

The fact that it’s not evolving much beyond predictive maintenance types of use cases is frustrating to any CIO looking for the next big thing in technology-enabled competitive advantages.

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CIO Cloud Computing

CIOs, stop dreaming about total cloud control

CIOs have a tough job these days. They have to adopt cloud computing and, at the same time, not give up control over their systems’ processes and data.

Many CIOs are starting to regain control. Rogue clouds led in the past, with departments going around IT to make deals with SaaS and IaaS cloud providers. Today, those chickens have come home to roost, and IT is trying to make sense of the hundreds of cloud services that have been tossed back at them to manage.

The long and the short of it: You don’t want to be a CIO these days. They are tasked with moving to cloud for the operational and strategic benefits. But they are not given much more budget to do so, and they have a ton of existing rogue cloud baggage to deal with.

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InfoWorld Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: Why enterprise DevOps will make IT organizations and CIOs relevant

Digital business is changing the competitive environment; the proliferation of startups created by highly qualified unemployed seniors and entrepreneurs, the increasing adoption of cloud which reduces IT cost and the Internet of Things substituting traditional services with digital services are forcing business lines (BL) to opt for new paradigms. Market responsiveness achieved through flexible IT environments is what they need; extending DevOps to competitive and revenue issues and establishing it as the foundation of IT operating models is what’ll make IT organizations relevant. That’s what enterprise DevOps is about.

Why DevOps initiatives struggle to meet BL expectations

Despite its accelerated adoption, DevOps remains either misunderstood or improperly implemented. Today’s implementation approaches have several weaknesses: 

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CIO Cloud Computing

Why CIOs must pursue ‘eventual symmetry’ for their cloud strategies

Sinclair is CEO and cofounder of Apprenda

The idea that hybrid cloud is the end state of enterprise computing is no longer controversial. Nearly all technologists, IT executives, and analysts subscribe to the idea that public cloud and on-premises computing both have a place in modern enterprise IT strategy.

A hybrid end state isn’t a bridging tactic or a strategic consolation prize, but a desirable outcome. In fact, a strong case could be made that a hybrid model allows for specialized optimization based on use cases – there are many scenarios both now and in the future that may map best to on-premises or public cloud.

There are two primary ways to implement a hybrid end state: asymmetric and symmetric.

1. Asymmetric – In asymmetric orientations, an enterprise consumes public cloud as one endpoint, and builds an on-premises cloud that is a distinctly separate, second endpoint. For example, we could look at the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) layer and say that an enterprise could use OpenStack on-premises and AWS in public cloud, and use processes, operations, and a brokering abstraction across the two endpoints to help normalize the consumption of IaaS regardless of what side of the firewall it came from.

In asymmetric hybridity, the technology used on-premises is different than that used in the public cloud, resulting in the need for reconciliation and the need to accept a lossy factor (i.e. the two technologies may have different features and evolutionary paths) since points of differentiation between the two need to be ignored or marginalized to ensure consistency.

2. Symmetric – Symmetric hybridity means that an enterprises on-premises assets and public assets are using the same technology, and that technology reconciles the assets on both sides of the firewall as a single endpoint. An example of this would be a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) layer that can be installed on-premises that could use local OSes and OSes from one or more public clouds all under one logical instance of the PaaS.

The PaaS hides the fact that resources are coming from disparate providers and only exposes that fact where appropriate (e.g. at the policy definition level to shape deployments). In this case, the PaaS is the single endpoint where interaction happens, and resources on both sides are used as resource units by the PaaS. Any organizational processes and consumption processes would be ignorant to the idea that a border exists in the resource model.

Pros and cons of symmetric and asymmetric models

Symmetric models guarantee that anyone within the enterprise consuming cloud infrastructure is shielded from the distinction between on- and off-premises resources and capabilities. If the end user  of cloud infrastructure (e.g. a developer or data scientist) is required to acknowledge any asymmetry, they will have to deal with it in their project. This explicit need to deal with a fractured cloud creates an immediate “tax” related to consuming infrastructure and it will generate consumption biases.

For example, if one side of the asymmetric deployment is easier to consume than the other, then an end user will prefer that even if the not-so-easy side is more aligned with the project, and will cause IT itself a number of headaches when it comes to operations related to that project.

It’s important to understand symmetry doesn’t mean the on-premises and public cloud side of a hybrid deployment must be equal. Certainly, workloads may need on-premises or public assets to satisfy certain requirements the other side couldn’t possibly satisfy.

What symmetry guarantees is that a workload that is indifferent to on-premises or public never be exposed to those concepts. Symmetry also ensures a workload with requirements that can only be satisfied by one part of a hybrid cloud or another is never exposed to the technical divide between the clouds. Instead, a workload communicates its preference in the language of requirements.

Eventual symmetry

Asymmetric models might be good starting points or appropriate for certain layers of the infrastructure stack, but they’re not ideal as a final end state. Symmetric models are clearly superior in almost all other aspects.

In response to this, CIOs should pursue a strategy of ‘Eventual Symmetry.’ Eventual symmetry means that any cloud strategy must:

  1. Choose symmetric models over asymmetric models where possible
  2. If asymmetric is the only possible approach, ensure that the implementation lends itself to eventually being replaced by a symmetric model or that processes and technology be used to abstract the asymmetry into a perceived symmetric model

By establishing eventual symmetry as a core cloud strategy pillar, a CIO can guarantee that any disjointedness in their strategy will be resolved. He or she can also ensure consumers of IT resources are abstracted away from details related to on-premises and off-premises.

Why CIOs must pursue ‘eventual symmetry’ for their cloud strategies originally published by Gigaom, © copyright 2015.

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Cloud

CIOs turn to cloud-based analytics to manage IT asset costs

Splitting Hewlett-Packard into two distinct companies is an onerous task, requiring management to wade through a complex cost structure, budgeting process and governance. Yet Ralph Loura, CIO of HP Enterprise Group, is doing just that using technology business management software that helps him gain visibility in IT assets costs of the $ 28 billion organization. HP will become two companies, HP Inc. and HP Enterprise, in November.

Ralph Loura, CIO of HP.

Ralph Loura, CIO of HP.

“Technology business management software allows us to democratize IT costing structure across the IT team so I can get real-time, rich analysis of where service costs are coming from,” Loura tells CIO.com.

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CIO Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: How CIOs can reinvent IT with ITaaS

In recent years business lines have been increasingly going the shadow IT route to achieve their critical objectives, showing there’s a real disconnect with IT as to how to leverage cloud computing.

The problem lies with cloud vendors who ignore the issue of the business vision. They see low IT costs and accelerated application delivery as business growth drivers while businesses are more concerned with market responsiveness achieved through agile and collaborative environments that bring together the business and IT.

The business is right: organizational silos, hierarchical barriers, unclear business priorities and people issues like power struggles, resistance to change, defiance of policies and politics are all impediments that only make it more difficult to achieve flexibility, fast problem solving and decision making. 

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CIO Cloud Computing