Yes, we’re all in the cloud – but use it to develop enterprise apps? Not yet

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A report from CipherCloud and Gigaom Research has revealed while most companies are in the cloud, they’re still reticent about using it to develop enterprise applications.

According to the research, just less than half (44%) of respondents had already made cloud deployments, with only 14% saying it would take them more than a year to deploy. 83% of respondents said they had adopted public cloud. Yet only 21% of those surveyed said they were using the cloud as a platform to build enterprise apps.

It seems that while businesses are more than happy to espouse the virtues of the cloud, it’s only for the front end. At Apps World Europe last week John Finch, the CIO of the Bank of England, all but confirmed this at his organisation, although when you’re the central bank and have no real market competition, it’s probably better to be on the safe side.

Not surprisingly, security is the primary concern for companies moving into the cloud, being cited by 62% of those polled. App performance (44%), time to learn new skills (41%) and cost (39%) were also popular. Yet the polls changed dependent on whether you were a leading edge or mainstream buyer, most notably with security (46% leading edge buyers, 63% mainstream) and vendor lock-in (29% leading edge, 5% mainstream).

The report leads on to shadow IT as a natural issue if there’s cloudy software afoot. Shadow IT being what it is, often the IT department only hears about it through the grapevine, or worse, when something goes wrong and the rogue employee needs bailing out because of a security violation.

It further warns that a company just can’t rely on this method – data security must cut across a business’s organisational lines.  81% of line of business employees admitted to using unauthorised software as a service applications, with Dropbox, not surprisingly, the most popular choice.

The report concludes shadow IT is, in reality, “an expensive road disaster”, security needs to be implemented across the company and not just an IT bailout, and that the cloud is here to stay.

“The cloud is not going to replace IT,” the report concludes. “Instead, the cloud is simply another vehicle for which IT delivers services to users – and IT should use it appropriately.”

What do you make of the results? Are you developing enterprise apps in the cloud at your company?