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Why it’s critical to combat cloud sprawl

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Not long ago, cloud was seen as a fad–something for start-ups to take a chance with, but hardly a serious choice for enterprise IT. Now, it’s increasingly the preferred method of accessing and delivering technology, writes Brendan McAravey, country manager at Citrix South Africa.This rapid rise has been driven by transformative benefits–faster innovation, greater agility and lower total cost of ownership. It’s no exaggeration to say that the cloud has sparked both a revolution in IT and a new era of digital business.That’s the good news–but it’s not the whole story. To preserve and extend these benefits, we need to address an unintended consequence that came along with them: cloud sprawl.
The cloud falls victim to its own successAs enthusiasm for the cloud leads IT, lines of business and even individual users to provision cloud services left and right, organisations are seeing higher complexity and greater risks for all constituents. The resulting problems include:• Users are forced to navigate multiple cloud environments, each with varying user experiences and each requiring different access credentials. In many instances, users must access at least three different applications to complete a single business process.• Companies are increasingly uncertain who is accessing their apps or where their sensitive data resides. Even when using the most secure cloud offerings, company information remains in browser caches where it can’t be effectively protected.• And information technology (IT) professionals are struggling to monitor–let alone manage–it all.
We’ve come too far with the cloud to let sprawl undermine its value. The answer isn’t to curtail cloud services, but to address the unwanted side-effects of their proliferation.
A new model: unified cloud delivery  To overcome cloud sprawl without sacrificing the benefits of the cloud itself, IT needs a more efficient and comprehensive way to organise, manage and secure all cloud services used across the organisation–from frontline SaaS apps to behind-the-scenes workloads to file storage and sharing. This modern IT framework must also bridge the multiple legacy, on-premises and custom apps and data stores on which businesses continue to rely.
A unified cloud delivery platform would enable • A better experience for users. Single sign-on across all types of services, wherever they’re hosted, enables a seamless experience.• Enhanced security. In today’s high-risk landscape, it’s simply unacceptable to let people access, download and store data anywhere they like, on any device, using any network. Instead, IT should apply conditional security rules to allow access according to the user’s location, device and network. • Simplified management with greater control for IT. The benefits of a unified cloud delivery platform would extend to IT as well, arming IT and network administrators with a single control plane to on-board apps, configure and provision digital workspaces and end-point devices, and proactively monitor and manage performance and security.
Citrix Cloud unifies and simplifies IT hybrid, multi-cloud environmentsWe firmly believe that a unified cloud delivery platform will play a vital role in the future, allowing businesses to realise the full benefits of the cloud while avoiding the complexity and security challenges that have come with its widespread and uncontrolled adoption.