Despite the cash-strapped business environment, flexibility rather than cost savings is the main reason for organisations adopting the cloud, according to research.
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Only 16% of organisations cited cost savings as the primary driver for cloud adoption, compared with 53% who outlined agility as the most important factor, according to a study by the Cloud Industry Forum.
In both public and private sector organisations, flexibility was given as the main reason for the adoption of cloud, by 55% and 52% of organisations respectively - three times the number that cited cost savings as the main driver.
Andy Burton, chairman of the Cloud Industry Forum, said: "Over recent years the market has been primarily focusing on the cost savings afforded by cloud migration and yet, while financial benefits are achieved and do drive further investment from companies already using the cloud, it is the agility given to businesses to deliver new services, access technology quickly and to offer solutions that they did not already have, that has driven initial adoption."
Of 450 senior IT and business decision-makers, SMEs and public sector organisations polled, 48% said they are using some form of cloud service, with larger companies more likely to use them.
Organisations that employ more than 20 people are at the forefront of the cloud revolution, as opposed to the small companies (defined as 20 employees or less) or public organisations.
According to the research, the main cloud services in use are e-mail, back-up, disaster recovery, storage and web hosting services.
Around 85% of those organisations questioned in the research currently using cloud services expect to increase their use in the next 12 months, with growth most likely to centre on these core applications.