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    Firms Steadily Improving their Cloud Computing Resources

    The private sector has rapidly ramped up its cloud computing resources in recent years, adopting new solutions for storing data online that have added efficiency and productivity to organizations' day-to-day operations. And according to new research, firms aren't just adopting cloud solutions – they're also making their cloud use deeper and more strategic.

    Unisphere Research, a division of Information Today, polled 262 enterprise IT and data managers, according to Forbes, and found that many of them have ramped up their firms' private cloud use. Close to 40 percent of organizations are now running some form of private cloud, and 25 percent use public cloud services in an enterprise capacity.

    Those who use private clouds are extending their use deeper into their organizations – a majority of firms said they expect "most of their workloads" to be cloud-based within one year, especially using Platform as a Service middleware. As for public cloud users, close to one-third said they were employing hosted services to run their cloud solutions for them.

    According to a separate Forbes report, the latest trend in cloud computing use is "sprawl," defined as branching out from one cloud provider and using a range of different solutions to tackle different business needs.

    Paul Burns, president of Neovise, recently authored a report on this growing IT practice, explained the growth in multiple-cloud culture to Forbes.

    "Enterprise IT organizations – and other organizations with a wide variety of applications – are using multiple types of IaaS clouds at the same time in order to meet their broad needs," Burns told the news source. "Public clouds from the likes of Amazon, Google and Microsoft simply are not enough to satisfy all the computing needs of enterprise IT organizations. This has led to a relatively new form of IT sprawl – cloud sprawl."

    The Unisphere study found that businesses expect a number of benefits to arise as a result of their private cloud adoption. Most importantly, 61 percent of private cloud users said they anticipated saving costs through consolidating data and obtaining higher asset utilization rates. Furthermore, 44 percent expect greater operational efficiency, and 43 percent hope to eliminate duplication of data across their enterprises.

    Cloud computing has numerous benefits to workplace efficiency, and companies have been taking notice for years. But they're no longer content merely to have cloud solutions in place – in a climate of never-ending business competition, the new goal is to make the cloud faster, more efficient and more secure.