Enterprise and mid-market businesses moving to a multi-cloud environment hope to achieve cost savings, increase speed to market, and reduce shadow IT.

Some, however, struggle to find the benefits they anticipated. These businesses lack the in-house resources required to transition from private data centers to multi-cloud environments while also monitoring and maintaining cloud services related to compute, storage, network, and security.

When a business needs to grow its IT team to support a multi-cloud environment, it has two choices: hire employees, or partner with a managed service provider. Two big reasons to consider managed services: A skill gap in the market makes it a challenge to find qualified cloud administrators. And, hiring or training employees is expensive and time-consuming – delaying the cost savings and efficiencies your business could gain from cloud services.

Scenario: Avoiding Vulnerabilities of Shadow IT

A company’s big data analytics team utilizes Azure services, while the DevOps team uses AWS. How does IT quickly give them access to the resources they need while maintaining company standards for compliance, security and operations?

If IT can’t deliver cloud services fast enough, teams may go directly to cloud providers for services. The resulting Shadow IT can lead to security risks by creating vulnerabilities that hackers may use to compromise systems, as well as increased costs from oversized compute resources.

Security risks increase when individuals deploy non-standard company policies when provisioning instances. It’s difficult for IT to implement company standard policies and maintain security if it doesn’t know what cloud resources are deployed and who has access to them.

Gartner predicts that by next year, “a third of successful attacks experienced by enterprises will be on their shadow IT resources.” Patching vulnerabilities and controlling access to resources and accounts can mitigate data breaches and hacks. But IT is unable to implement security measures when it doesn’t have visibility to deployed resources.

CenturyLink’s Solution: Managed Services Anywhere

With CenturyLink® Managed Services Anywhere, our cloud experts augment customers’ IT teams. Where these IT teams have skill gaps or need additional resources, CenturyLink cloud engineers utilize the CenturyLink® Cloud Application Manager platform to help them quickly move to the cloud. CenturyLink engineers have a single pane of glass for managing cloud resources from different cloud service providers with Cloud Application Manager, and they’re poised to manage, govern, and control Shadow IT through auto-discovery of cloud resources.

For faster provisioning, your company’s IT team can also work with CenturyLink engineers to establish a catalog of standard policies that can be deployed anytime. The standardization of policies provides IT with better governance over the cloud environment and drives consistency in cloud policies across organizations, teams, projects, and employees.

Combining the catalog of policies with CenturyLink engineers’ management of your cloud environment gives your business the speed and flexibility expected with cloud, along with the control and oversight needed to manage cost and mitigate security risks.

To further mitigate security risks, CenturyLink engineers can patch vulnerabilities or deploy updates to mitigate security breaches. Your staff and CenturyLink engineers also have access to view logs that can help identify a potential breach.

CenturyLink engineers can help control cloud costs by identifying underutilized resources and recommend decommissioning them or decreasing their size. Additional cost efficiency can be recognized when a multi-cloud approach is utilized to leverage the best of every cloud platform available and provide guidance on running the right workload, in the right place, at the right time.

Stretching IT budgets, optimizing their network, increasing security, or being able to respond faster to business demands requires a combination of networking and solutions experience that makes CenturyLink a strong partner for enabling customers’ digital transformation needs.