Make Shadow IT Your Friend And Save Millions As A Service Broker

This is the 2nd in a series of “Yes Really” posts. See the first here.

Shadow IT. Long cast as the fast solution when Enterprise IT can’t move fast enough. Subsequently also cast as the enemy for Enterprise IT. But how about this: Enterprise IT can make Shadow IT its friend – and save millions for the business in the process. How? Read on.

I recently read an enlightening blog post from Gartner VP Thomas Bittman. In it, he described the impact of shadow IT on a single organization. That organization hired a third party to conduct an audit. The audit found over 10,000 accounts had been opened with AWS outside of IT’s knowledge. This was 10x more than that organization’s IT team estimated. But that wasn’t the interesting part. The audit also uncovered that about 30% of the infrastructure the business was paying for was not being used. The business simply forgot to turn the infrastructure off after they no longer needed it.


This is a clear and present opportunity for in-house IT to deliver value to the business. How? By playing the role of Broker of Services and turning off those unused resources for them. How much money would that save? Millions, potentially. Don’t believe me?

Let’s put some estimates to Bittman’s anecdote. Let’s say a developer wants to build an Intranet portal, built on a LAMP stack and is stateless (“cattle like” so to speak) with a medium traffic pattern. Let’s add that this is low to medium criticality and requires periodic snapshots say every hour, RDS, and dedicated SSL cert.

Pump those requirements into the Amazon cost calculator and this is what you come up with:


Let’s call that $126.87/month the average cost per account of those 10,000 accounts. Multiply that number by 12 and you get a cost of $1,522.44 per year. Multiply that number by 10,000 and you get $15,224,400 as the cost for all 10,000 accounts on an annual basis.

How much of that $15,224,400 is wasted by allowing 30% of that infrastructure to sit unused?


Per year. That’s a lot of money. And hypothetically, that’s how much the company in Bittman’s post isburning. It’s also the amount of money the company’s IT organization could save its business if they played the role of broker of services (thus ensuring infrastructure doesn’t sit unused). And if you don’t buy the $126/month per account cost, even at $50/month, the savings is still nearly $2 million.

Wouldn’t it be nice to walk into your CFO’s office and state, “I could save you millions”? Wouldn’t it be nice to tell your business they can still use those public cloud providers? If your IT organization acts as a broker of services, you can.

We’ve been helping enterprise IT organizations become a broker of services for long time at EMC – but just recently we developed an engineered solution to make it much easier and much faster to get there. See it in action here.

About the Author: Daanish Ahmad