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    Cloud Computing Adoption Expected to Continue, Studies Find

    Cloud computing‘s popularity surged to the forefront of the enterprise in 2012, and that upward climb will likely continue over the next 12 months, according to a recent study by 451 Research and TheInfoPro.

    “The digital infrastructure of the future will provide CIOs with an assortment of service delivery venues, which will enable users to schedule or automate the delivery of workloads to the most suitable internal or external clouds depending on workload characteristics, SLAs and policy requirements,” said Peter ffoulkes, research director of cloud computing at TheInfoPro.

    The report found that nearly two-thirds of organizations in North America and Europe are only in the initial implementation phases of their cloud computing products, with 61 percent at the virtualization phases. Despite some obstacles, nearly half of decision-makers view building internal cloud environments as one of their top-two IT projects for 2013.

    At the same time, company leaders aren’t the only ones who anticipate that cloud computing will provide some benefits. More than one-third of end users expect that internal cloud environments will lead to cost savings, while a separate survey by Rackspace revealed that in general, people are beginning to trust the technology more for everyday use.

    “There is no doubt that cloud computing is the key trend for the tech sector and for us as consumers over the short and long term,” said Sarah Needham, senior associate at International law firm Taylor Wessing.

    Although security and privacy concerns remain, 39 percent of respondents store financial and legal information in the cloud. The study also found that people spend an average of three hours per day using cloud-based programs, up 45 minutes from a year ago.

    Cloud computing’s underrated benefits
    As IT departments continue to increase investment in cloud services, they are using the technology for different reasons.

    A recent Computer Weekly and TechTarget report found that two-thirds of companies in Europe plan to spend as much or more on IT services in 2013 as they did in 2012. Meanwhile, a separate Computer Weekly and TechTarget survey revealed that cloud computing projects will remain popular investments in 2013 – albeit for different reasons than just cutting costs.

    Disaster recovery and business continuity was found to be the top goal for IT professionals over the next 12 months. Data reduction checked in at No. 4 on the list, cited by 29 percent of respondents, while data backup ranked sixth.

    More than one-third of IT professionals indicated that their organizations would leverage cloud solutions to improve their backup and storage capabilities.