IT underestimates cloud app usage by 90%

Cloud app adoption continues to spread across virtually every business function, from marketing to human resources. However, while enterprise app use continues to grow, Netskope found that IT is still in the dark about its usage – on average IT professionals underestimated cloud app use in their organizations by 10X, with the typical enterprise using 397 apps.

Additionally, 77 percent of cloud apps are not enterprise-ready, leaving IT with the challenge of securing 10 times more apps than they thought they needed to secure.

A new report unveiled the most popular cloud apps in the enterprise, as defined by the number of distinct app sessions. Twitter tops the list and has become increasingly relevant in business as marketers, salespeople, research and development professionals, and executives find social media to be an impactful tool. While popular consumer apps Facebook and LinkedIn also ranked high, they did not make the top 10.

The five most prevalent cloud app categories in the Netskope Active Platform are: Marketing, with 51 cloud apps per enterprise; HR with 35 apps; Storage with 26 apps; and CRM/SFA and Collaboration, with 23 apps each.

Perhaps the most striking of these is the number of HR apps per enterprise. While HR is a broad category, with specific apps for benefits, salary, performance, time-tracking, and more, an average of 35 HR apps per enterprise raises security and compliance concerns for IT professionals.

The eport also found the number of Storage apps per enterprise to be remarkably high at 26. Unlike Marketing and HR, which cover a broad set of functions, Storage apps are narrower in scope, and have redundant functionality. Even organizations that have chosen to standardize on one Storage app like Dropbox or Google Drive have discovered a “long tail” of such apps that are unsanctioned but in use.

The most common activities in cloud apps are edit, view, download, post, and share. Activities such as upload, share, and download are among the most watched because they can signal data leakage or compliance violations. Today, the vast majority of policy violations result in an “alert” action versus a “block.”

To date, the ability to block specific activities within cloud apps has been relatively nascent in the market, and IT professionals are now starting to wrap their arms around which activities are being performed before they begin limiting activities.

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