here is clearly a massive push towards the adoption of cloud, but it is not consistent across industry sectors or company sizes. But recent research makes scary reading. A survey by TPI, published by ComputerWeekly showed only 5% of CIOs has their cloud strategy in place, and only 20% even have the resources to develop it!!!

But what is more worrying is that end users are taking matters into their own hands. Forrrester Research‘s assessment is that 1 in 3 employees are regularly using at least 2 apps or websites that require a login (ie cloud app) that are unsanctioned by IT. You can understand why. The appeal of the cloud is compelling.

In the absence of a cloud strategy the Citizen Developer or HEROes (highly empowered and resourceful operatives) as Forrrester Research named them are using cloud apps. This is not a good position for the CIO to get into. End users are putting the business at risk with no understanding of the smart questions to ask, let along the validity of the answers given by Cloud vendors.

They are ‘unconsciously incompetent’- they don’t know what they don’t know. Or as Donald Rumsfeld so eloquently put it

“There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.”

So, for the 95% of CIO who don’t have a cloud strategy, this should be a wake up call. Until they get ahead of the business users they are letting them put their companies at risk; security, compliance and reputational.

In short they are gambling. And as we all know – the house ALWAYS wins.

If you were a startup today planning your assault on the world – possibly the group huddled furtively in the corner of the Pret-a-Manger where I am typing this – then you would be mad to ever buy a server. everything you need to run your business from a start up to IPO can be consumed in the cloud.

But, if you are a global enterprise with years of investment in legacy infrastructure and applications like SAP and Oracle then a move to a public cloud for 100% of your business will not happen. For a number of reasons; cost, security and job security. Certainly the CIO can use cloud apps to relieve the IT backlog for non-core applications whilst they get their Cloud Strategy together.