The lurking shadow: How to tackle shadow IT with hybrid cloud integration

By Pedro Soares

IBM

Regardless of whether you’re considering taking the journey to fully embrace hybrid cloud integration, with today’s choice of services, chances are there is already some form of rogue consumption happening in your company. And if not, there will be soon. So, the best option is to prepare and seize control, even while you plan your strategic approach to hybrid cloud integration.

Choosing a partner to help you on that journey is fundamental, as it involves a particular set of skills that’s probably not readily available in your organization, and it’s often more expensive to train or hire people to do it. Also, a partnership in this area will expose you to other topics that will be vital, such as how to effectively manage all the systems in multiple clouds, how to build your own service catalog with components from different vendors and especially how to gain visibility and control on all of that.

The visibility factor

This is mostly about shadow IT and its impact on your bill. It really is an accidental hybrid cloud, but without awareness and control, you’ll only get the downside of it. That means more cost, potential security issues and process inefficiencies. However, you can tackle all three at once by using a platform that allows you to discover existing spending by checking invoicing and providing insights on potential unauthorized use of cloud resources. That same platform should be capable of creating a catalog with all those findings, perform reconciliation and help you build a full view of what’s happening.

Learn how to optimize your hybrid cloud infrastructure

The control factor

Once the discovery process is established and is giving you the information about consumption, it’s time to assume control. Now that you’re aware of the contracts and costs, you can take ownership and potentially renegotiate based on an integrated view. Most providers will offer advantages if you keep a single contract, and that way, you can also allocate resources to the departments that originally started consuming in a controlled and reliable way. For example, following a provisioning process that can be automated and orchestrated will make the user experience even better and simultaneously ensure all deployments follow your company security and audit rules. This will significantly minimize risk and audit exposures.

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OK, and now what?

With the crucial visibility and control aspects addressed, the next step in the strategy for hybrid cloud integration is about deciding the best solutions to place your workloads. A cloud broker is the best option to do this and can include cognitive capabilities that will suggest the best possible options at any given time. This process can be repeated, and you can check your entire landscape for better options whenever you want. As your catalog of services gets more complex, the need to orchestrate the provisioning process will be more relevant, and the automation to maintain the deployed systems will become a must. With the right combination of services, most systems can be kept compliant and perform in the best possible conditions, thus minimizing the number of incidents and, most importantly, the application downtime. In the end, this is the most important feature, as the entire system will run almost flawlessly so there is no disruption to business.

The main point here is that there is little chance you’ll be able to stop shadow IT, so the logical option is to embrace it and assume control.

Learn how to optimize your hybrid cloud infrastructure

Written By

Pedro Soares

Executive Architect, IBM

Pedro Soares is an Executive Architect working for IBM Global Technology Services. He's been creating IT solutions for more than 20 years, and mostly for IBM. Started as a Systems Engineer on Operating Systems and then moved to a more Network oriented perspective, then IT Systems…