A recent survey by Gartner reported that only 38% of organizations surveyed use cloud computing. Gartner also reported that 80% of respondents, including 55% of those not using cloud computing today, plan to use cloud computing in the next 12 months.
The survey, however, focuses on official cloud computing initiatives and may not consider the “unofficial” use of cloud computing services by employees. While unofficial cloud services would increase the stats, unofficial — or rogue — cloud services can hurt your business.
By their very nature, rogue cloud services expose your company’s information to external sources. While the exposure may be your employees sharing with one another, that information is outside your control with respect to exposure, sharing, and backup. The accounts belong to your employees personally and would leave with them. If your employees rely on these rogue services, you data may never end up on your servers or sanctioned services.
What To Do:
Update Your Appropriate Use Policy (or create one). While most policies address the use of company resources for personal use, they should also address the use of personal resources for company activities.
Find the Rogue Clouds. Scan employees’ computers and survey employees about the tools they are using, including those on smartphones and tablets. Chances are, they have gone rogue to improve access to information or to allow them to work more efficiently.
Go Legit. Evaluate the tools that your employees have selected to improve their efficiency, select those that best fit your business, and adopt them as sanctioned and supported tools. Make the investment to help your employees work more effectively, while ensuring your data is safe and your budget is in tact.