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Cisco Launches New Tools To Help Businesses Deal With Shadow IT

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Cisco has released new tools that will help companies in dealing with shadow IT, wherein business groups circumvent the IT department to be able to gain access to public cloud services. Simply, shadow IT is the use of unauthorized applications by a company's employees.

Chief information officers are realizing the full extent of the cloud sprawl within their companies. To help them with the management of their shadow IT issues, Cisco will be launching the Cloud Consumption service, which is a new product that tracks and monitors the public cloud services that the business is utilizing.

Cisco revealed the extent of the problems of shadow IT. For average large enterprises, 1,220 individual public cloud services are being used, which is up to 25 times higher than estimated by the IT departments of the companies. The average number of utilized public cloud services has increased by 112 percent since last year and 67 percent in the previous six months.

What is worse is the fact that there are potentially damaging risks to the business associated with the uncontrollable usage of public cloud services. It could range from the need for data security and compliance with regulations, to negative effects on the performance, costs and continuity of a business.

Cisco's Cloud Consumption discovers and then continuously monitors the public cloud usage among all the employees in an organization to prevent these problems. With the tool used in conjunction with benchmarking and detailed analytics from Cisco, businesses will be provided with insight for the reduction of risks to the company's security and for better cost management.

The tool will also allow IT departments to more effectively team up with groups in the organization to determine the appropriate cloud services that should be made accessible to employees.

Cisco utilized CityMD, an urgent care company that has 50 facilities in New York and New Jersey, as an example of an adopter of Cloud Consumption. After using the tool, the company was surprised to find out that its employees were using more than 500 cloud services, when the IT department only formally supported between 15 and 20.

According to Cisco, Cloud Consumption as a service is now available worldwide through qualified Cisco partners. The price of the service is currently at about $1 to $2 per employee monthly, depending on the organization's size.

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