The latest infotech nightmare? Cloud sprawl!

September 8, 2009: 8:00 AM ET

As cloud computing spreads, so does your company's data.


Tobolski: The cloud has a dark side, too

Tobolski: The cloud also has a dark side. Photo: Accenture

By Joseph F. Tobolski, director of development, Accenture Technology Labs

It often starts off innocently, say with a twentysomething employee seeking additional servers to do a data analysis project.  Studies show, after all, that it's these "millennials" who expect to use their own preferred technologies for work rather than those supplied by their employer.

Anyway, he can't get this from IT, so he goes and loads data on a server he rents from a "cloud" service provider.  He later completes the project, but neglects to delete the data.  When he leaves the company the following year, the corporate data he has in the cloud has been long forgotten and it's now impossible for his employer to corral.

Meanwhile he tells his colleagues how easy it was to procure servers and storage from the cloud.  Pretty soon, his associates follow suit and build applications in the cloud, several of which go viral within the company. More

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