Report: 52 percent of businesses use cloud to grow

The introduction of cloud computing in the business world has revolutionized the way decision-makers view critical processes and how tasks should be completed. During the past several years, organizations have been more enthusiastic about adopting cloud services in the workplace, as doing so provides executives with numerous competitive opportunities. Over the course of the next few years, this interest in the cloud will continue to grow.

A recent 451 Research study commissioned by Microsoft highlighted the ongoing demand for the cloud, revealing that 52 percent of businesses said the use of hosted services is beneficial for expanding operations or developing a new company strategy. Decision-makers are also taking various approaches to the cloud, as many organizations are implementing both the public and private cloud to improve operations.

"IT professionals were very clear in their response to this survey - cloud-based computing will play an important and growing role as part of their IT portfolios moving forward," said Michelle Bailey, vice president of data center initiatives and digital infrastructure at 451 Research.

Firms are also tackling different cloud models in an attempt to find which suits their needs best.

The various types of cloud
Software as a Service (SaaS) continues to play an important role in the development of the cloud, especially as applications become more central to mission-critical operations. The survey revealed that roughly two-thirds of organizations have actually replaced traditional premise-based solutions with web-based software, marking a significant change in thought processes.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is also becoming more popular. In fact, IaaS is increasing at a faster rate than SaaS, as Gartner noted that it grew 42.4 percent in 2012 to generate $6.1 billion in revenue and is expected to expand another 47.3 percent in 2013 to reach $9 billion.

"Evidence of this growth is found in the increasing demand for cloud services from end-user organizations, met by an increased supply of cloud services from suppliers," said Ed Anderson, research director at Gartner.

As the overall cloud landscape evolves, businesses will continue to hunt for the perfect cloud and work with trusted providers to do so. By planning ahead and understanding which resources can and should be migrated to a hosted environment, executives may make their quest for the perfect cloud a little less complicated.

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