Enterprise IT is changing, but not all of its leaders are following suit. When talking about cloud computing and storage, it’s important to recognize where the industry is headed. In his recent InfoWorld article, CIOs, stop dreaming about total cloud control, David Linthicum (@DavidLinthicum) predicts that CIOs will not be able to sustain a total control approach to their public cloud services. Gaining complete control will take years (assuming it can be achieved at all); meanwhile, enterprise demand for cloud services will exceed IT’s ability to manage costs, capacity and cohesion.

Data storage has traditionally been contained in private data centers that are totally run and controlled by the CIO and IT department. But the cloud has changed that. Today, a shift is taking place that allows business units and project teams to access solutions directly by shopping for the applications that best suit their needs. This has led to some departments going around IT and acquiring cloud solutions without their knowledge. This could amount to thousands of different virtual resources being used, leaving gaps for security risks and unnecessary costs.

This shift toward on-demand computing is putting traditionalists in an uncomfortable position, and they are left facing difficult decisions on how to manage their cloud infrastructure. David summed this up in his article when he said:

“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.”

CIO’s and Enterprise IT departments are now challenged with delivering the value of cloud without killing the benefits through heavy-handed, command & control governance. This will not be accomplished with a total control culture.

David lays out two possibilities for CIOs. The first is to demand complete control over all systems the enterprise is using. But that won’t work in the age of DevOps and cloud computing, where enterprises incorporate private cloud with public and hybrid cloud applications. With the freedom to customize the cloud experience, control all of the independent elements will be time consuming, costly and allow too much room for error.

The second option is to let go of control and become a broker/facilitator, managing the relationships between various cloud technologies, accounts and resources. By implementing modern cloud management technology, CIOs can focus on choosing the right products and solutions for the enterprise’s business goals, while using automation and dynamic optimization to save time, reduce waste and ensure security.

What can CIOs Gain if they let go?

The future of the computing infrastructure will see more enterprises adopting cloud capabilities from a mixture of internal and external cloud sources, also known as hybrid cloud computing. While this approach will require CIOs to release some of their control over cloud features, this method has a number of benefits that outweigh the need for complete centralization of data storage, including:

  • Cost Savings: The hybrid cloud model gives enterprises the ability to keep the systems that work and add others that help those existing systems to work together.
  • Flexibility: Enterprises do not have to be limited, working between both public and private clouds depending on specific requirements.
  • Visibility: Enterprise IT will have the ability to see activity across all platforms and engage the speed and agility of cloud without abandoning their overarching responsibility for security, cost and performance.

But these benefits can only be realized if CIOs relinquish control and utilize today’s advanced cloud management and cloud automation solutions to ensure that individuals within the enterprise are following the rules when spinning up their own cloud resources.

To learn more about the role that cloud management and cloud automation can play in enabling the benefits of cloud while protecting against security vulnerabilities and cost overruns, download the following resources:

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