UK IT directors are worried about spiraling costs as a result of "cloud sprawl". A survey of 200 IT directors at firms employing over 1,000 was completed by market research firm Vanson Bourne. It found that 67 per cent of respondents were concerned about the growing threat of cloud sprawl as cloud-based services become more popular across the enterprise.

This was due to the speed and ease of cloud deployment and the fact that staff can purchase services without the involvement of the IT department.

The research, commissioned by Opsview, the open source IT monitoring software provider, also showed that over half (54 per cent) of organisations are unsure of how many cloud-based services their employees are using. This admission, said Opsview, highlights that many organisations are lacking complete visibility of their IT landscape.

“Cloud services are incredibly easy to access and can provide multiple benefits to individual users. However, by not controlling the adoption of cloud services, businesses risk spiraling costs,” said James Peel, product manager at Opsview.

Peel said firms, for example, could be hit with unexpected costs as non-IT staff simply pay for services via their credit card before charging it back to the business, bypassing traditional IT procurement channels.

The survey found that 76 per cent of IT directors admitted employees are likely to flout IT policies in order to make use of cloud services.

Three-quarters (75 per cent) of organisations said they would like more information or metrics to ensure cloud service providers are meeting agreed service levels.

The Isle of Man Government has reduced its operating costs by 15 percent after virtualising applications and implementing cloud infrastructure from EMC.

The move is part of the government’s plan to provide its 9,000 staff with access to more than 1,000 applications, including email, financial accounting, customer relationship management (CRM) and health administration services, more efficiently and reliably.