By Daniel Hunter

Ninety percent of businesses are now using cloud-based apps, new research suggests.

A study of IT usage by workspace management firm Centrix Software found that despite the adoption of cloud-based tech amongst UK businesses, there is still confusion around how the move to the cloud should be prioritised. 'Which app types are most suitable', 'who pays for cloud apps?', and 'what the top risks are' are the biggest concerns for businesses, Centrix said.

Responsibility for selecting, purchasing and managing cloud-based apps is increasingly shared between IT and business users - completely changing the way end-user computing is delivered.

Business users are now involved in 53% of cloud app decisions (17% are solely responsible for app decisions and 36% share responsibility with IT) - and hold direct responsibility for 33% of the budget, with a further 27% managed jointly with IT.

These findings are backed up by analyst firm Gartner, which found that more than 25% of IT spending is already outside of the control of CIOs - and that’s predicted to grow to 50% by 2017. The report confirmed CIOs are concerned that the diversification of cloud responsibility raises data and content security and governance issues; with 61% saying that security of organisational content and data was their top concern, and 82% putting this in their top three.

Lisa Hammond, CEO of Centrix Software, said:L “Today’s business users, familiar with choosing, downloading and using apps on their personal devices, can be just as cloud-aware as their more technical colleagues. This is driving a radical change in the way that end-user computing is delivered. The challenge for CIOs is how to manage a cloud environment that’s not in their control and that they regard as a huge security risk.

“Today’s IT leaders need to monitor, analyse, prioritise and evaluate rates of cloud app adoption so they can understand cloud app usage and consumption. It’s only those who have accurate information about cloud usage who will be able to spot cloud app trends, proactively forecast demand and identify the business value of migrating apps to the cloud or introducing new types of cloud apps. Usage-based business intelligence analytics for IT has to be part of the solution to this cloud confusion.”

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