According to a new study by Intermedia and Osterman Research, small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) are losing time and money to cloud apps. These can include e-mail, phones, collaboration and file sharing, CRM, identity and access management, security and so on.
What’s the problem
The report, “Death by 1000 Cloud Apps,” found that the average SMB is juggling more than 14 cloud apps, with an average of 5.5 apps per user.
This fragmented cloud-scape causes four main problems:
1. Too much choice—Teams can spend months of valuable time vetting and deploying all the cloud apps, distracting them from more important goals and responsibilities.
2. Too much to manage—Once deployed, these apps must be managed. Fifteen people using the average of 5.5 apps each means 82.5 accounts that must be managed.
3. Too many log-ins—It takes an average of 20 seconds to log in to an app; a 75-person SMB can rack up more than 570 wasted hours and $13,900 per year in lost productivity.
4. Too much risk—When forced to choose between security and productivity, security usually takes a back seat. This leads to risky password selections that are easily breached, leaving companies at risk.
What to do
Fortunately, there can be several steps you can take toward a solution.
• First, centralize access. It’s estimated that three out of four network intrusions exploit weak or stolen passwords. A “single sign-on portal” lets users access all of their apps with just one secure password. You can also enforce two-factor authentication-and your admin can easily cut off access to the SSO portal in just one step. For instance, Intermedia AppID offers a strong, simple SSO solution.
• Next, consolidate providers. A small number of companies now act as a one-stop shop for cloud IT. You get multiple services with one control panel, one bill, one source of support. Security and integration are built in. Providers include Intermedia’s Office in the Cloud and others.
• Finally, cut back on apps. Inventory the apps you have and eliminate overlapping functionality. Combine a few similar apps and slash your cloud footprint.
For further facts on reducing cloud apps, go to Intermedia.net/1000CloudApps. North American Precis Syndicate