The idea that cloud computing can help improve operations and reduce IT costs is apparently catching on, as many businesses are adjusting their IT budgets to make room for the cloud this year, a new study found.
In a survey of 500 North American businesses, IT publication TechTarget found that 70 percent of businesses have allocated portions of their budget to invest in more cloud computing initiatives this year. This represents a significant increase from last year’s study, which found only 10 percent of companies had set aside funds for the cloud.
At the same time, businesses are planning ahead for the cloud. According to the study, two-thirds of survey respondents have established a cloud computing “road map” for 2011. This seems to indicate that businesses are not diving into the cloud head first, but, rather, they are taking a cautious approach, weighing the benefits of the cloud and determining which services best suit their specific needs.
“We’re figuring out how to use cloud … we’re cautious about it and waiting for the standards and governance to develop a little bit more,” Lana Davenport, data security services analyst at FedEx, told the news provider.
The cloud has been on the rise for some time, but TechTarget’s study, as well as other reports, seem to indicate the technology is finally emerging in the mainstream. According to a separate study by research firm In-Stat, cloud spending is expected to increase across the board in the next three years.
In its earlier report, In-Stat predicted that SaaS public cloud spending in the United States would increase 112 percent between 2010 and 2014. IaaS and PaaS will increase as well, reaching $4 billion and $460 million by 2014, respectively.
Cloud spending isn’t only expected to increase among large businesses. In fact, many small- and medium-sized businesses have found the cloud affords them access to enterprise-level IT solutions at relatively affordable costs.
According to a recent Spiceworks study, cloud adoption among SMBs doubled in the second half of 2010, growing from 14 percent to 28 percent. Additionally, Spiceworks predicts 42 percent of SMBs will use the cloud by mid-2011. Given the limited budgets and IT staff of many SMBs, the cloud may represent a means to improve IT efficiency without breaking the bank.