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Metalogix 2017 Predictions: R.I.P Shadow IT

VMblog Predictions 2017

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2017.  Read them in this 9th annual 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 management space.

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.

A 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.

In 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.

Counting Benefits

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 platform.

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 platform.

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.


About the Author

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.

Adam Levithan 

Published Wednesday, January 11, 2017 7:05 AM by David Marshall
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