Within two years, a majority of enterprises expect to be running their workloads in the cloud.
After getting past considerable concerns about privacy and security, companies are increasingly placing their faith -- and their information and services -- in the cloud.
The level of enterprise workloads in the cloud is expected to go from 41% today to 60% by mid-2018, according to technology research firm 451 Research, which surveyed more than 1,200 IT professionals worldwide in May and June. 451 then combined that information with separate interviews done with senior IT buyers and IT executives.
The study also showed that 38% of enterprises said they have a cloud-first policy, which means they at least consider, if not prioritize, the cloud for all deployments.
Company mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, along with moves like hardware buys and software upgrades, are pushing companies toward the cloud.
Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research, said he's not surprised that enterprise IT professionals expect so much growth in the cloud.
"The technology, which allows painless allocation of resources and well-automated provisioning, is suitable for virtually all workloads in all situations," Gottheil told Computerworld. "It just makes things work better. And while there's some transitioning required to put current workloads on a cloud, it's not really that much. So companies will be migrating workloads to the cloud whether that cloud is on-premise, in a managed service provider data center or in a public cloud data center."
Part of the reason for the growth is that business executives are moving beyond initial fears about security and privacy in the cloud. With more experience under their belts, cloud confidence has grown dramatically.
While it's easy enough to move new services, apps and data to the cloud, transferring services and information already run in-house is a different matter.
"I'm never surprised that it takes time to change how you do things," Gottheil said. "When things are working, there's little incentive to change, even if things will be better after the change."
According to 451 Research, strong cloud growth is expected particularly in critical enterprise workload categories, like data analytics and business applications.