More than 130 million enterprise users in the mobile Cloud by 2014

As collaborative applications become ever more important for enterprise, a new report from Juniper Research has found that the number of enterprise customers using mobile cloud-based applications will rise to more than 130 million by 2014, facilitated by platform as a service (PaaS) deployments from key players such as Google and Microsoft.

The report found that the market for connected enterprise apps had benefitted from the success of Apple’s iPhone and App Store. It said that this was reflected both by a marked increase in both the number of enterprise apps available to end-users and also in the fact that such apps were themselves becoming far more attractive given the wide-ranging enhancements to smartphone user interfaces in the wake of the iPhone launch.

Furthermore, Juniper’s Mobile Cloud Applications research found that as cloud providers were increasingly opening up their APIs for application providers seeking to develop browser-based or thin client applications, this provided greater opportunity and incentive for developers seeking to reduce the costs associated by porting apps across multiple platforms.

According to report author Dr Windsor Holden: “A cloud-based ecosystem for enterprise apps will be attractive both for developers and enterprises alike. For developers, cloud opens up a far wider potential audience for their products; for enterprise customers, outsourcing application management to a remote third party, costed on a scalable, pay-per-use basis, offers far more flexibility combined with a significant reduction in capital expenditure.”

Other findings from the Mobile Cloud Applications report include: A cloud-based ecosystem offers storage and infrastructure suppliers the opportunity to enter the mobile arena by leverage their strengths in these areas to develop mobile-oriented cloud services; While enterprise applications will comprise the majority of cloud-based application revenues over the next five years, consumer applications including games, social networks and music services will together generate more than 25% of such revenues by 2014.