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CIOs: All our apps will be in the cloud by 2013

Blame Facebook and wi-fi
Written by Tim Ferguson, Contributor

Blame Facebook and wi-fi

Business applications will increasingly head into the cloud as consumer technology filters through to business, according to UK CIOs.

More than half (56 per cent) of the CIOs surveyed believe all applications used by their organisation will be hosted on the internet within five years, while 76 per cent of the CIOs questioned think the increased availability of wi-fi and broadband at home is encouraging people to look at using online applications.

CIO50 2008: Top 10

The UK's leading CIOs revealed…

1.Robin Dargue Royal Mail
2.David Lister Royal Bank of Scotland
3.Neil Cameron Unilever
4.Catherine Doran Network Rail
5.John Suffolk UK government
6.Gordon Lovell-Read Siemens UK
7.Paul Coby British Airways
8.Tania Howarth Birds Eye Iglo Group
9.Simon Post Carphone Warehouse
10.Ben Wishart Whitbread

The research, commissioned by salesforce.com, found 83 per cent of CIOs feel tech from the likes of Google and Facebook are shaping the technologies that businesses are adopting.

Google and Microsoft have been leading the push to the cloud, with popular online collaboration services in the shape of Google Apps and Office Live Workspace, while the likes of salesforce.com and its rivals have long been touting software as service for applications such as CRM.

Speaking to silicon.com, senior analyst with Freeform Dynamics, David Tebbutt, said while the progression to more cloud-hosted applications is inevitable, the CIOs timings may be ambitious. "I think [the surveyed CIOs are] wrong on timescale. I think a lot of work will migrate to the cloud in that timescale but I think a lot more will migrate later on. I think we're talking about fairly long timescales."

Others remain unconvinced the cloud is ready for business. Citrix CTO and chair, Martin Duursma said recently cloud-based applications - or software-as-a-service - remain "several years away" from being enterprise ready.

He added companies shouldn't rush into putting mission critical apps into the cloud until the services have become more reliable.

Freeform Dynamics' Tebbutt said companies need to work out which applications they feel comfortable with putting into the cloud and who they want to host services.

"It's about trust isn't it really? That's what it boils down to," he said. "I do think that a lot of work will go out to the cloud. It really depends on the nature of the business."

The research was carried out by Coleman Parkes and quizzed CIOs from 100 UK organisations.

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