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Cloud Usage Growth Expected to Soar

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The majority of businesses not using cloud-based services will soon be taking that leap, new research suggests.

According to "The Five Faces of the Cloud" study recently released by business consulting firm Bain & Co., nearly 65 percent of the expected growth in the cloud market over the next three years will come from companies that make little or no use of the cloud currently.

The study also found that those using the cloud now vary greatly by type of company and chief information officer.

Specifically, faster-growing companies use 144 percent more cloud services than slower-growing companies, and a CIO who has entered that position within the last year will have 141 percent more of the company's environment in the cloud than a longer-tenured CIO.

In addition, CIOs with diverse business experience, such as entrepreneurs, business school graduates and business unit operators, use 82 percent more cloud services than those who have spent their professional careers predominantly in IT.

"Once financial and strategic value proves to be repeatable, cloud will become a standard part of the business toolkit," Michael Heric, a Bain partner and lead author of the study, said in a statement.

Overall, the study forecasts that revenue from sales of cloud computing products and services is poised to surge from its current level of $20 billion to nearly $150 billion by 2020.

The study also details five distinct cloud user profiles, in an effort to give providers better customer insight so they can better tailor their offerings and entice a broader range of businesses. They include early cloud adopters looking for more comprehensive solutions, those who are hesitant to use the cloud because of safety concerns, and those solely concerned with the associated costs.

The study is based on surveys of nearly 500 North American CIOs and IT decision-makers, representing companies of all sizes across a wide range of industries.


Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer who has nearly 15 years' experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.