The benefits for enterprises moving to the cloud are clear: greater business agility, data availability, collaboration, and cost savings. The cloud is also changing how companies consume technology. Employees are more empowered than ever before to find and use cloud applications, often with limited or no involvement from the IT department, creating what’s called “shadow IT.” Despite the benefits of cloud computing, companies face numerous challenges including the security and compliance of corporate data, managing employee-led cloud usage, and even the development of necessary skills needed in the cloud era. By understanding the cloud adoption practices and potential risks, companies can better position themselves to be successful in their transition to the cloud.
In the 2014 Cloud Adoption Practices and Priorities (CAPP) survey, the Cloud Security Alliance sought to understand how IT organizations approach procurement and security for cloud services and how they perceive and manage employee-led cloud adoption. We asked IT and security professionals for their views on “shadow IT,” obstacles preventing cloud adoption, types of cloud services requested and blocked, security priorities, and governance practices. We uncovered stark differences between how companies in North America and Europe approach the cloud, and even how large enterprises differ from their smaller counterparts. As more IT departments look to play a greater role in enabling the safe adoption of cloud services, we hope these findings can provide some guidance.