Electric Cloud today announced the availability of version 3.8 of its ElectricCommander software package, aimed at bringing enterprise software development tools into private clouds. The new version includes a new workflow and task automation engine, built to allow developers to control their tools in a cloud environment.

Mike Maciag, CEO of Electric Cloud, said that enterprises that have constructed internal, private clouds aren’t necessarily ready for development teams to make use of those clouds. Specifically, he said ElectricCommander gives developers control and automation tools for running a private cloud development environment.

Specifically, the new workflow and task automation engine in ElectricCommander 3.8 allows developers to line up test and build tasks, and to ensure they execute in the proper order. Additionally, the software distributes these tasks across parallel workloads within an assigned cloud, allowing build and test tasks to run as fast as the cloud will allow.

On the same day as the release of ElectricCommander 3.8, Electric Cloud also released the results of a study it commissioned from Osterman Research. The results showed that enterprises are looking at private clouds first for developers.

“We wanted to find out what’s going on with private cloud computing, specifically as it relates to software development,” said Maciag. “Certainly, private cloud is happening. Software development is the biggest application put on top of that, but it’s getting underutilized because software developers want to continue to have control over their software environment.”

In its survey of 100 CIOs and vice presidents, 56 said they were currently using or were planning to use a private cloud for software development.

Respondents said that they spent an average of US$6,335 (or $23.31 per employee) on cloud compute resources in 2010. The survey also showed that 57 of those using cloud systems could not estimate their ROI on the usage of those services.