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2014: The Resurrection of Enterprise IT – 11 Cloud Computing Predictions

Skyhigh Networks, the cloud visibility and enablement company, predicts that 2014 will be a pivotal year for cloud computing. The days of cloud naysayers are over, but as cloud computing evolves into a mainstream technology, plenty of obstacles are left to clear before the cloud reaches its true potential – it is the beginning of a real security transformation.

Many of Skyhigh’s predictions are based on the Cloud Adoption and Risk Report, which found that most organizations are flying blind as they embrace cloud services. In the report, Skyhigh data scientists analyzed data from more than 3 Million users from more than 100 organizations who accessed thousands of cloud services.

The report found that when it comes to cloud services, IT tends to block what it knows (such as Facebook and ESPN.com), rather than blocking those services that present the greatest risks. This practice is most troubling with file-sharing sites. For instance, Box, the lowest-risk file sharing service, is blocked 35 percent of the time, but Rapidgator, a high-risk service, is blocked only 1 percent of the time.

(Are you still blocking Box? This video will show you how to extend on-premise DLP policies to Box.)

2014 Cloud Prediction 1: IT gains visibility to start blocking cloud services on risks, not familiarity

“This problem isn’t necessarily IT’s fault. There were no unified cloud security tools and no consistent policies in place to manage the security, compliance, governance, and legal risks of cloud services,” said Rajiv Gupta, founder and CEO at Skyhigh Networks. “Our cloud usage analytics suggest that enterprises are taking action on the popular cloud services they know of and not on the cloud services that they don't know of and that pose the greatest risk to their organization. Lack of visibility into cloud service use and risk seems to be the crux of the problem.”

Skyhigh forecasts that these behaviors will stare to shift in 2014. IT must start vetting services based on risk, rather than familiarity. If IT doesn’t get ahead of this trend, it will be forced to. High-profile breaches will force IT’s hand, if IT doesn’t adjust ahead of time.

2014 Cloud Prediction 2: Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud on collision course – which IT must manage

Skyhigh also expects that a major trend of 2013, the convergence of Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud, or SMAC, will pick up even more steam in 2014. This will be a boon for IT.

“Not that long ago, the IT world fretted about whether or not IT was becoming irrelevant in this service-driven world. Now, with social, mobile, analytics, and cloud trends all converging in chaotic ways and the number of service providers increasing at dizzying rates, IT will start to see themselves less as operators and providers of all IT infrastructure, applications, and devices and will start to see themselves more as the strategic enabler of services,” Gupta said.

SMAC-savvy CIOs will gain power in the C-suite, as they hold the keys to unleashing value in the SMAC world. On the flip side, SMAC-phobic CIOs will continue to lose ground to tech-savvy CMOs. In many organizations, the marketing department is already the most analytically based business unit. In 2014 CMOs will continue to infringe on areas of responsibility that used to belong solely to the CIO. Those CIOs who view this as an opportunity, rather than a threat, will collaborate with CMOs to achieve business goals, creating a win-win scenario.

Those CIOs who continue to block cloud services that deliver business value will place their organizations at a competitive disadvantage, and once the rest of the C-suite wakes up to that fact, it will be the CMO, not the CIO, driving the future of technology within those slow-to-adapt organizations.

For the rest of Skyhigh’s 11 Cloud Predictions for 2014, check out: “2014: The Resurrection of Enterprise IT – 11 Cloud Computing Predictions.” If you have your own predictions for 2014, please let us know in the comment field below the story.

About Skyhigh Networks

Skyhigh Networks, the cloud access security company, enables companies to embrace cloud services with appropriate levels of security, compliance, and governance while lowering overall risk and cost. With customers in financial services, professional services, healthcare, high technology, media and entertainment, manufacturing, and legal verticals, the company was a finalist for the RSA Conference 2013 Most Innovative Company award and was recently named a “Cool Vendor” by Gartner, Inc. Headquartered in Cupertino, Calif., Skyhigh Networks is led by an experienced team and is venture-backed by Greylock Partners and Sequoia Capital. For more information, visit us at http://www.skyhighnetworks.com or follow us on Twitter @skyhighnetworks.

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