UK businesses have 'lost control' of IT


by Duncan MacRae| 30 January 2014

A new study found that 37% of employees access cloud apps without IT’s consent.

An overwhelming majority of IT managers do not have lost full control of their IT set-up due to the pressures of an increasingly cloud and mobile-centric IT landscape, new research has found.

The research by research firm Loudhouse was underwritten by identity management specialist Okta and surveyed more than 200 UK IT decision makers.

It found that whilst almost 80% of UK IT decision makers plan to increase the number of cloud applications across their organisation this year, only 9% feel confident they have complete visibility of all the applications currently used by employees.

The research uncovered a number of key findings concerning visibility and complexity challenges associated with the adoption of cloud applications in the enterprise and suggests that UK organisations are grappling with cloud growing pains.

Key findings include:

- Employees are believed to be accessing a minimum of eight cloud applications per month at work, with more than one third (37%) doing so without IT jurisdiction.

- 49% of organisations have already rolled out iPads/tablets to many employees and 47 per cent are planning rollouts in the next 12 months.

- Only one in three IT decision makers (32%) are comfortable they could pull together a list of access privileges and be confident that these are accurate.

Phil Turner, VP of EMEA, Okta, said: "While no two businesses or IT environments look the same, every IT leader we speak with is looking to solve the same fundamental challenge. How can they deliver the best possible experience to their employees, customers, and partners while, at the same time, maintaining a high level of security and control?

"It's hard to argue that cloud-based applications offer a superior user experience, but with the majority of cloud usage happening 'off radar', via mobile devices, and across enterprises, businesses now need a better way to secure and control a magnitude more users, devices and applications that span traditional company and network boundaries."

As well as access concerns, businesses cannot be sure the use of cloud applications are meeting IT policies and guidelines, according to the research. IT decision makers believe workers will continue to operate outside the control of IT despite efforts to educate users of the dangers of rogue applications. Regardless of any policy or training businesses put in place, more than half (59%) believe employees will continue to use their own cloud applications. This could explain why businesses are no longer confident they are upholding their IT security, with only 6% highly confident that cloud applications are integrated into their existing governance and IT security policies.

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