The government's cloud computing strategy is encouraging public sector organisations to start using applications in the cloud, according to a report that reveals a surge in their use of the cloud over the past six months.
Over half of UK organisations are already consciously using the cloud, according to a survey of 300 businesses carried out by Vanson Bourne for the Cloud Industry Forum.
The survey also revealed that 67% of companies give the IT manager responsibility for making decisions to migrate to the cloud, compared with just a quarter where it remains the responsibility of the CEO.
In the private sector, 56% of firms are using the cloud, compared with 53% six months ago, while 49% in the public sector are doing so, compared with 38% six months ago.
The biggest reason for moving into the cloud, cited by 46% of companies, was flexibility. The second most common reason was cost savings, with 17% of respondents stating this.
A massive 73% of respondents in the research currently using cloud services expect to increase their use over the next 12 months. These companies are most likely to adopt cloud versions of e-mail, storage, data back-up/disaster recovery, collaboration solutions and web services.
Andy Burton, chairman of the Cloud Industry Forum, said the research disproves preconceived ideas that businesses initially adopt the cloud to cut costs.
"Financial benefits are being achieved and do drive further adoption from companies already using the cloud, but 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," he said.