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Tata Consulting projects that Cloud-based applications will grow sharply by 2014 (Photo: Tata Consulting)

Companies in emerging markets are leading the way when it comes to adoption Cloud-based application, according to a survey conducted by Tata Consulting Services.

The US and Europe remain conservative about putting mission-critical and customer data in the Cloud, the survey of 606 managers in global companies with sales of more than 1 billion dlrs a year found.

According to the survey, the average Latin American company has 39 pc of its applications in the Cloud. In the Asia Pacific region, the percentage is 28. But in Europe and the US, companies have only 12 pc and 19 pc, respectively, of applications in the Cloud.

N Chandrasekaran, CEO of Tata Consulting, said companies that have adopted Cloud-based solutions are seeing substantial benefits. That means the move to the Cloud will continue. "There is huge scope for growth in both developed and emerging economies," Chandrasekaran said in a press release.

Fears of security risks were identified as the major factor in US and European reluctance to adopt Cloud-based applications. According to the survey, only 20 pc of US and European companies would consider putting their most critical applications in public clouds. They showed a similar reluctance to put customer data applications in the Cloud.

By comparison, 66 pc of US companies and 48 pc of European companies would consider putting core applications in private Clouds.

Tata Consulting said customer-facing business applications make up the largest share of companies' Cloud application budgets. Healthcare services, automotive and computer hardware industries are leading the move to the Cloud.

The survey showed that companies in the US and the Asia-Pacific regions are driven to the Cloud by a desire to standardize software applications and business processes. In Europe and Latin America, on the other hand, the prime motivation is the Cloud's ability to ramp up or scale back applications and processes faster.