Podcast: How to Avoid Cloud Sprawl

Cloud sprawl is a regular – and expensive – occurrence within many organizations. In the latest HOSTING Cloud 360 Podcast, Cloud Control – How to Avoid Cloud Sprawl, we sat down with Jonathan Arena, Vice President of Infrastructure for HOSTING. Jon discussed ways in which organizations can avoid cloud sprawl, as well as best practices for scaling their cloud environments. You can listen to the entire podcast on-demand. In the meantime, we’ve listed some highlights.

Common causes of cloud sprawl

Cloud sprawl occurs when individual departments within an organization deploy their own applications in the cloud. Oftentimes these applications are managed by departments outside IT, which can lead to security vulnerabilities as well as additional costs. Jonathan listed several ways in which cloud sprawl can occur include the following.

  • Internal teams utilize the cloud for test/dev activities, without setting a completion date. As a result, cloud resources remain “on” indefinitely.
  • Individual departments (AKA – “Shadow IT”) are lured by the ease in which they can purchase and deploy applications. In many cases, all it takes is a swipe of a credit card and suddenly they’re “in the cloud.”

A key issue for companies experiencing cloud sprawl is that there is no single “cloud ambassador” who has control over cloud costs. This is often coupled by a lack of adequate reporting on cloud usage from the organization’s cloud service provider (CSP).

Cloud sprawl risks

Departments that “go rogue” in the cloud, typically host applications haven’t been vetted by their IT department to ensure the organization’s security and compliance standards are met. As a result, sensitive information ends up being stored outside the company’s firewall and outside the IT department’s control. Existing cloud resources that IT has already invested in end up being underutilized, costing organizations unnecessary expense.

Two ways to control cloud sprawl

In order to control cloud sprawl and scale resources effectively, Jonathan recommends that organizations create a strategic plan that outlines and allocates existing cloud resources. Assets should be inventoried according to which department is utilizing them. They should also be categorized by usage – are they earmarked for a permanent or temporary initiative.

Jonathan also suggests that organizations creating cloud governance policies.

“Organizations need to determine where their cloud solutions will reside, and how they will be operated,” Jonathan recommends. “There should also be a designated person who has authority to request changes, order additional capacity or add/remove users.”

Don’t let cloud sprawl impact your bottom line. Log onto our podcast for more tips on how to effectively scale your cloud investments. You can also contact HOSTING anytime for help in streamlining your cloud assets so you can maximize your IT spend.

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