Majority of IT Executives Say Public Cloud Services Negatively Impact Corporate Budgets, Operations

Security, Compliance Concerns Drive Corporate Crackdown on Rogue Use of Cloud Services Including Social Media Sites, Skype and DropBox

Atlanta, GA – May 7, 2013 – There is growing concern among Enterprise IT leaders over the unauthorized use of the public cloud by business units within the enterprise according to the 2013 PMG Cloud Sprawl Survey of 234 North American corporate IT professionals.

Unauthorized cloud services of most concern to business IT processionals include the use of public cloud storage (70 percent), cloud synchronization (68 percent) and cloud-based collaboration applications (53 percent). The pattern of unauthorized usage of cloud services seems to be on the rise despite the fact that IT says the vast majority (89 percent) of employees understand the need for data security.

Today, 54 percent of corporate IT professionals surveyed say their organizations have a policy in place regarding the use of public cloud storage services. However, the plurality (43 percent) admit to being only “somewhat effective” in educating business users on the pitfalls of the public cloud. Twenty-eight percent of IT pros say they are not effective in educating business users on the downside of using public cloud solutions, 20 percent say they are effective and 10 percent are not sure how effective they are.

The ever-growing use of public cloud services and apps by individuals or business units within a company, often without permission from IT, also known as cloud sprawl, is a trend most tech professionals see as negative. A majority of IT pros (52 percent) say cloud sprawl will have a significant or somewhat negative impact on operations and resources, and 34 percent say they don’t yet know how it will impact IT.

“Cloud services will continue to expand within companies, in fact this study found 38 percent of IT respondents turn to the cloud because it offers faster deployment,” said Joe LeCompte, principal at PMG. “Savvy IT departments are focusing on finding better ways to offer enterprise-grade cloud services to internal users as a way to stem cloud sprawl and safeguard corporate information.”

Top Cloud Concerns

Security tops the list of the biggest issues associated with unauthorized cloud sprawl. When asked, here is how corporate IT ranks the following concerns:

  • 79 percent data security,
  • 57 percent compliance,
  • 55 percent network security,
  • 51 percent loss of control,
  • 48 percent unmanaged application.

Specific cloud services or applications IT has prevented or limited enterprise access to include social media sites (66 percent), Skype (61 percent), Dropbox (59 percent) and Google Drive (40 percent). Sixty-four percent of those surveyed say much of the increased usage of cloud solutions has been driven by the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend in today’s workplace.

Efforts To Make Cloud Procurement a Positive

When IT uncovers the deployment of public cloud solutions without IT’s assistance or knowledge, 65 percent say they evaluate the service and act accordingly (either approving or denying usage), only 15 percent immediately pull the plug and 11 percent say they don’t get involved in the deployment of department-level cloud solutions.

The strategies IT is using to better manage cloud sprawl within corporations are varied but include the following:

  • 48 percent assign an IT resource to work with business units/departments seeking cloud solutions,
  • 39 percent have developed internal cloud solutions for business units/departments to use,
  • 33 percent have developed and enforce a corporate-wide cloud services IT policy.

The silver lining in the cloud sprawl conundrum is that 72 percent of IT leaders say employees are willing to use corporate installed cloud solutions. This is good because 82 percent of IT respondents are predicting the volume of cloud service procurement by business users over the next 24 months to be greater than it is today.

With 60 percent of those surveyed reporting big data is or will become vital in future enterprise cloud deployment, the ability to integrate data between cloud applications or cloud application and on-premise application is key. To date, 46 percent have had incompatibility issues when trying to integrate data between cloud and on-premise applications. Forty-six percent surveyed say this is because of the use of unsanctioned cloud applications.

“At the end of the day, IT is not going to paint all public cloud solutions as ‘bad’,” said LeCompte. “In fact, 69 percent of IT executives say a hybrid cloud strategy using both private and public cloud offerings is the wave of the future inside the enterprise. Containing cloud sprawl to protect corporate information and ensure security can be done by providing cloud services in a structured manner with a proper governance framework.”

On the strictly personal side, the survey found that most technology professionals had a split personality – when it comes to operating systems.

The vast majority (72 percent) prefer the Windows OS for personal computing (outside the work environment) compared to 25 percent that answered Apple and four percent that opt for Google. On the mobile side of things, a majority (53 percent) prefer the Apple mobile OS, 34 percent Android, 9 percent Windows and 4 percent BlackBerry.

When asked what fictional TV character most represents today’s IT professionals, the “wicked smart” Dr. Gregory House from House M.D. got 27 percent of the vote, followed by the “lovable geek” Sheldon Cooper, Ph. D. from The Big Bang Theory with 21 percent of the vote, and Sherlock Holmes from Elementary cited by 19 percent. The bottom of the list included Tony Soprano (8 percent), Homer Simpson (6 percent) and Elmo from Sesame Street (1 percent).

About the 2013 PMG Cloud Sprawl Survey

PMG commissioned a blind survey of North American IT professionals in March of 2013. Respondents to the online survey included a total of 234 IT leaders. Of that group, 54 percent were in IT management (managers, supervisors, directors, etc.) and 16 percent were Senior IT executives (CIO, CTO, vice president, etc.). Company size ranged from less than $200 million in revenue to more than $3 billion, with 51 percent having more than $500 million in annual sales, 37 percent having more than 5,001 employees, and 61 percent having IT departments with 51 or more employees. Industries represented included computer technology, consulting, healthcare, financial service, manufacturing, and retail.

About PMG

More than 20 percent of the Global 100 relies on PMG to deploy enterprise service catalog and business process automation software that streamlines operations, reduces costs and improves efficiency. Our solutions transcend traditional IT service management boundaries giving business and IT professionals a smarter way to automate business processes ranging from IT financial management to identity management, employee onboarding and cloud provisioning. As a result, our clients handle shared services requests faster with fewer manual processes and less reliance on staff intervention. For more information, please visit

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