What 'rogue' cloud usage can teach IT

The use of cloud computing to work around IT shines a bright light on what needs to change

Many people in enterprises use cloud computing -- not because it's a more innovative way to do storage, compute, and development, but because it's a way to work around the IT bureaucracy that exists in their enterprise. This has led to more than a few confrontations. But it could also lead to more productivity.

One of the techniques I've used in the past is to lead through ambition. If I believed things were moving too slow, rather than bring the hammer down, I took on some of the work myself. Doing so shows others that the work both has value and can be done quickly. Typically, they mimic the ambition.

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The same thing is occurring in employee usage of cloud services to get around IT. As divisions within companies learn they can allocate their own IT resources in the cloud and, thus, avoid endless meetings and pushback from internal IT, they are showing IT that it's possible to move fast and quickly deliver value to the business. They can even do so with less risk.

Although many in traditional IT shops view this as a clear threat and in many cases reprimand the "rogue" parties, they should reflect on their own inefficacies that have taken hold over the years. Moreover, the use of cloud computing shines a brighter light on how much easier IT could do things in the cloud. It becomes a clear gauge as to the difference between what IT can do now and what technology itself can achieve when not held back.

I'm sure reader comments will be full of security, governance, and responsibility issues that most IT pros believe is a burden that they, and only they, must bear. They'll say that although they might seem like the bad guys, they're taking on important responsibilities for everyone's good, and that those who work around them are not helping. That might be a comforting view, but it's also self-defeating.

The truth is that those who create "rogue" clouds demonstrate what is possible and perhaps raise the bar on how fast enterprise IT should be moving these days. IT should use those efforts as a sort of mirror; sometimes looking at your reflection shows flaws that are easily fixed.

This article, "What 'rogue' cloud usage can teach IT," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and track the latest developments in cloud computing at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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