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Public cloud infrastructure confidence blossoms, study says

While the cloud computing market is largely growing due to the emergence of new, faithful service providers, the real driving force behind the industry is the increasing amount of trust users are having in the technology. When the cloud first emerged, decision-makers were rather hesitant to adopt the hosted services for fear of exposing confidential resources. This concern has rapidly diminished over the years, encouraging companies of all sizes to use the cloud.

A recent study of 250 IT decision-makers in small and large organizations by a major managed service provider revealed that nearly two-thirds of respondents are using some form of cloud computing. Although this number corresponds to similar studies by the Cloud Industry Forum, the survey found that more executives are opting for the public cloud than ever before.

In fact, approximately 25 percent of businesses are using the public cloud, compared to only 15 percent in 2011, according to the study. Another 29 percent are using both the public and private cloud, up 21 percent compared to the same time last year.

"In late 2011, more than half of respondents said that cloud computing services posed a greater security risk than in-house infrastructure, with only a third saying that it was an equivalent risk," expert Michel Robert said. "Those figures are now 46 percent and 44 percent respectively, which shows a narrowing of the gap on trust. These figures are supported by the significant growth in the take-up of hybrid and public cloud infrastructure."

A separate report by Gartner noted that the public cloud services industry only generated $91.4 billion in revenue in 2011, though this is expected to grow to more than $206 billion in 2016. As this expansion happens, decision-makers will increasingly turn to cloud infrastructure offerings to enhance internal and external operations.

As the private sector expands and becomes more competitive, cloud service providers will need to encourage organizations around the world to use a variety of cloud solutions to stay relevant and keep costs down during the macroeconomic crisis. Because using hosted services can improve flexibility and support a growing mobile workforce without jeopardizing the security of mission-critical assets or dramatically increasing expenses, the technology can provide companies with a number of benefits in the short term and long run.

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