Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2017. Read them in this 9th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.
Contributed by Adam Levithan, Director of Product Management, Metalogix
R.I.P Shadow IT
As we enter 2017, one thing that's clear when it comes to the cloud and
virtualization is that we're entering a new era of collaboration. No matter the
industry, people do their work and exchange information in a drastically
different way than they did 10 years prior. Content is now in constant motion,
bouncing between business professionals, platforms, and an ever-expanding range
of electronic devices.
Since today's digital world can hardly be considered uniform, trying to
standardize cloud collaboration or content management onto one platform isn't
practical. In fact, in this fundamentally different way that we
collaborate with each other, it doesn't make sense from a business perspective to
try to keep all types of data in-house anymore. This gives an extra challenge to IT departments,
who must learn to manage many disparate platforms.
Complicating the matter further, it's not uncommon for business
users to purchase and implement solutions that don't fall under IT's budget or
control-a situation known as "shadow IT." In fact, this has become almost
standard practice due to the emergence of consumer cloud apps into the content
It's easy to understand why some users turn to shadow IT
when you consider how convenient it has become to use these file sharing and
social media tools. Yet while it can make employees' lives easier, shadow IT can
put a company's sensitive content and intellectual property at risk.
Turning Point Year
I predict that the coming year will mark a clear turning
point: the year when we will no longer see business purchases being made for
collaboration solutions outside of the realm of IT. Instead, IT will continue
its rapid evolution into more of a service support role. Successful IT administrators
will keep moving further in the direction of supporting the way that workers
are already going. People need to be able to work, share, communicate,
and collaborate from wherever they are, using whichever device or platform they
have available, even if it differs from what their coworkers use. In
the process, they need to access multiple public cloud services, such as Dropbox,
Google for Work, Box, Slack, and Salesforce.
No longer looked down upon by IT, a growing number of administrators
have started to embrace the fact that the public cloud can be highly beneficial
to users as well as to companies. At the same time, IT departments will need to
ramp up their focus on security monitoring due to the risks that cloud
collaboration and multiple content management platforms can bring.
With the New
Now that we can predict what's coming-that there will be no single
point of content management control from within a company-what should IT do to
effectively manage and monitor the situation? How can IT safeguard an
organization's content at the same time that end users enjoy the flexibility of
cloud solutions to help them get their work done, keeping in mind that these solutions
that may lack adherence to both in-house and external compliance rules?
Fortunately, to respond to the needs of 2017, a new solution is
available that lets users take advantage of cloud collaboration while IT effectively
oversees the plethora of cloud collaboration platforms using just one point of
control. This new form of controlled cloud
collaboration relies on cloud apps that facilitate content lifecycle management for information
that's shared and stored across multiple cloud platforms.
There are a number of benefits that you can experience with controlled
cloud collaboration in 2017, as shadow content collaboration becomes a thing of
the past. One is content protection. IT will now be
able to zero in on a single interface to easily visualize their entire extended
collaboration universe, thus protecting sensitive content by relocating it,
securing it, and provisioning end-user access. Controlled cloud collaboration also allows for an easier process for permissions management. Controlled cloud
collaboration protects data using one interface for any cloud collaboration
Another benefit is continuous monitoring. This new
solution scans for unauthorized users, looking for unauthorized content
placement. No matter where content is located in the cloud, controlled cloud
collaboration can help IT back up and archive the data. Finally,
administrators can rely on any-to-any
migration for increased consistency, compliance, and security through one
cloud-based interface, to migrate content from any file share solution onto any
As we adjust to the new realities of content collaboration in 2017,
keep in mind that some things will stay the same: namely, that workers in all
industries will continue to demand the ability to draw on multiple platforms
for content collaboration. Administrators can help employees achieve this-while
at the same time protecting corporate data-by using controlled cloud
collaboration as a consolidated solution to manage their entire content portfolio.
Adam Levithan is a Director of Product
Management at Metalogix and a Microsoft MVP advocating for collaboration by
connecting business needs with the right technology. Prior to Metalogix, Adam
was a Practice Lead for Office 365 in a cutting edge Microsoft Consulting firm
where he was responsible for moving customers to the cloud, designing and
implementing information architecture (SharePoint Farm and content) and
increasing user adoption. Adam is an ongoing member of the SharePoint Saturday
DC coordinating committee and active speaker at various events.