AWS is top enterprise cloud service – but beware the consumer threat

James has more than a decade of experience as a tech journalist, writer and editor, and served as Editor in Chief of TechForge Media between 2017 and 2021. James was named as one of the top 20 UK technology influencers by Tyto, and has also been cited by Onalytica, Feedspot and Zsah as an influential cloud computing writer.

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Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the most popular enterprise cloud service according to a report released today from Skyhigh Networks – but the research also fired a broadside at how companies are struggling to block consumer products.

The reports, which are quarterly and based on data from more than 1.6 million users, noted a huge disparity in companies saying they block certain services and the amount of employees actually blocked.

80% of companies say they block Dropbox, but only 21% of users are actually blocked

Take file sharing provider Dropbox. It’s a very popular service to block, with 80% of firms surveyed saying they nix it. Yet only 21% of users are blocked. It gets worse the further you look. Half of companies claim to block iCloud, yet the actual block rate is only 9%. For Netflix (40% and 4%) and Instagram (48% and 4%), it’s a similar story. Only Facebook has a good hit rate – 50% of companies say they block it, and 31% of users are actually blocked.

The remaining number – in Dropbox’s case, 59% of users – is what Skyhigh calls the “cloud enforcement gap.” This can come about in various ways. Either the cloud service provider proffers a new URL which isn’t picked up on by the IT department, or block rates aren’t enforced by certain geographies, or exemptions to particular groups get picked up on and shared around.

It’s a prevalent trend. The number of cloud services used by the average company rose 23%, from 588 in Q114 to 724 in Q3, yet almost three quarters (74.3%) of cloud services in use do not meet the current EU Data Protection Directive.

In other words, it’s shadow IT. Facebook is the most popular service in this category, followed by Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

It’s interesting to note the differences between consumer and enterprise in this instance. Box is the seventh most popular enterprise tool, yet Dropbox is positioned #11 in consumer cloud services. Other storage providers, Apple’s iCloud (#13) and Google Drive (#14) also feature in consumer.

The average company uses an eye watering 125 collaboration services

Ultimately, Dropbox is the most popular file sharing tool overall, ahead of Google Drive, Box and OneDrive. Office365 is the most popular collaboration tool, ahead of Gmail and WebEx, while workday is number one for HR. The average company uses 37 different file sharing services, and an eye watering 125 collaboration services.

The report also notes how the Pareto Principle, or the 80/20 rule, applies to cloud services, but in a much more extreme manner. 80% of data uploaded to the cloud goes to less than 1% of all services – Box (23%) is the most popular there, followed by Dropbox (11%), YouTube (9%), and Microsoft Office365 (7%).

In order, the 10 most popular enterprise cloud services are AWS, Microsoft Office365, Salesforce, Cisco WebEx, Concur, ServiceNow, Box, LivePerson, Zendesk and Yammer. The top 20 also includes services from enterprise giants, such as BMC, Workday and GoToMeeting. Microsoft’s storage product, OneDrive, and NetSuite, were new entries in this edition.

Read the full document here.

Read more: How cloud doesn’t have to mean shadow IT takes hold

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