In a move to keep operations mobile and agile, more and more businesses are moving to the cloud, a new study finds.
Three-quarters of businesses now use some sort of cloud platform, up from 67 percent last year, research from entrepreneur financing firm North Bridge Venture Partners, in conjunction with GigaOM Research and 57 collaborating organizations, has found.
The study uncovered a number of factors driving the increased usage, with more than half of those surveyed citing business agility and scalability as the main reasons for shifting to the cloud. Additionally, 48 percent said cost was their top motivating factor, while a quarter said it was to help power their mobile projects and staff.
The research found that the majority of cloud use is for business priorities, rather than IT needs. Specifically, organizations on average are using cloud applications 52 percent of the time on business priorities and 36 percent of the time on advancing those needs of the IT department. Researchers believe this is another indication of the increasing value placed by companies on simplifying the delivery of services beyond IT via the cloud.
With security concerns still being the top inhibitor toward cloud adoptions, hybrid cloud services — those that combine the security benefits of a private cloud with the scalability of a public could — are the wave of the future. More than half of the businesses surveyed expect hybrid or multi-cloud providers to emerge as a serious challenger to the current cloud ecosystem with in the next two to three years, while more than three-quarters expect hybrid clouds to be the core of their cloud strategies in the next five years.
Steven Martin, general manager of Windows Azure marketing and operations for Microsoft, one of the companies that collaborated on the study, said the research provides new insights into how cloud computing is transforming IT.
"In particular, it shows that businesses are using cloud computing to outpace their competition and that, over the next five years, hybrid cloud will become the norm," Martin said. "This echoes what we hear from customers and it’s why comprehensive, hybrid cloud solutions are core to our strategy."
The study was based on surveys of 855 cloud business users, IT decision makers and cloud vendors.