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More than 80 per cent of employees are using cloud storage services such as Dropbox and SkyDrive and bypassing IT departments in the process, according to new research.
In a survey of 150 UK IT decision makers carried out by IT services giant Computacenter it was found that 84 per cent of staff access and share company data using cloud-based storage services.
The research also found that 56 per cent of respondents were worried that files and data could be accessed by the wrong people or that the use of cloud services could lead to compliance problems.
Paul Casey, cloud practice leader at Computacenter, said the findings highlight why it is so important for companies to deal with the risks posed to their business by consumer cloud services.
He said consumer cloud products, referred to by the firm as a 'stealth cloud' or 'shadow IT,' are "edging their way into the corporate mainstream" and could spell disaster when it comes to managing business IT processes.
"It's imperative that businesses address this problem now. It's clear that everyone knows the risks of consumer cloud products, but until the correct solutions are put in place, employees will continue to use them whatever the consequences,” he said.
The research also saw a third of users say they would like their IT teams to have a dashboard for managing and understanding cloud resources as they are provisioned.
The firm said companies must make sure they have a company-wide view of their cloud resources. “If companies take charge of their cloud resources, [by] bringing [those] within the stealth cloud into the daylight and start to empower employees, then the outlook may begin to look a lot sunnier,” said Casey.