New report finds that businesses use 626 cloud services on average

Collaboration, social media and file sharing are the most popular types

The use of cloud services by workers continues to skyrocket and the most popular services are constantly changing, according to a new report from Skyhigh Networks.

Skyhigh helps companies discover which cloud services their workers are using and then helps them secure access to the services. It puts out a quarterly report, based on data from nearly 6 million users, that often has some eye opening results.

In Skyhigh's report covering the fourth quarter of 2013, it found that on average, 626 cloud services are in use by organizations. That's right, within a single company, workers are using 626 different cloud services. That's up from 545 in the previous quarter.

The most cloud services used by a single company that Skyhigh monitors is 2,154, up from 1,769 in the third quarter.

Beyond the sheer number of cloud services used by businesses, I find the change in which services are most popular to be notable. For instance, new file sharing services continue to pop up, making it potentially difficult for IT admins to make sure that users are securely sharing documents.

While the top four file sharing services remained the same in the fourth quarter as compared to the third, not a single service is the same from quarter to quarter among the next six most popular services. I've never heard of any of the next six services that made the top ten in the fourth quarter. They include services called Freak Share and File Factory. Skyhigh said it has tracked 160 different file sharing services.

The report also found an interesting change relevant to developers. Skyhigh found that Google App Engine overtook MSDN as the most popular development service. Codehaus, GitHub and SourceForge follow.

That's a tough one though because Google App Engine and MSDN aren't exactly comparable. Still, it indicates that developers are spending an increasing amount of time on Google App Engine, confirming some expectations that Google's cloud services will be a force to be reckoned with.

Microsoft is still on top in a category that Skyhigh calls collaboration services. Office 365 tops the list, followed by Gmail and Google Docs. Skyhigh points out that, surprisingly, AOL makes the top ten here.

The collaboration category has the most number of apps that Skyhigh tracks, up 27 percent to 334. Development is the next largest category, with 170 services, followed by file sharing.

Consumer services still top the overall list of most popular services. Facebook is number one, followed by YouTube, Twitter and Amazon Web Services.

Read more of Nancy Gohring's "To the Cloud" blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @ngohring and on Google+. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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