In a recent survey of 1,358 enterprises published by North Bridge Venture Partners, nearly half were using the cloud for revenue generation or new product creation.

Usage of cloud computing ranged from using Infrastructure as a Service to gain access to flexible computing capacity to using Platform as a Service technologies for developing new applications and prototyping. Meanwhile, use of Software as a Service has more than quadrupled from the previous year to 74%, mostly driven by enterprises transitioning existing applications into the cloud.

From an end user perspective, the front office is leading the way into the cloud with sales and marketing at 51% adoption of cloud technologies.

For beleaguered information technology executives the rapid and widespread adoption of the cloud has been a major boon, moving the focus away from service provision and maintenance and back into what improvements and savings IT can generate for an enterprise.

Michael Skok, founder of the Future of Cloud program and general partner with North Bridge Venture Partners, commented that the report meant “…we are going to begin seeing the birth of new, re-imagined, cloud-native applications” and continued to say that “These applications, which are only possible in the cloud, will result in an order of magnitude greater value creation than the first cloud front. This second cloud front will be transformative.”

It wasn’t all great news for cloud evangelists, however. 49% of respondents to the survey expressed concern about how secure their data was in the cloud and privacy concerns rose to 31%. With tension between consumers’ desire for personalised services and their desire for anonymity and privacy growing, cloud privacy is sure to a talking point for many enterprises as they embrace the cloud.

Overall, these concerns clearly highlight the need for quality consultancy when moving into the cloud space to ensure that businesses are selecting the right cloud services and partners for them and have confidence that their data, and their customers’ data, is secure.

Meanwhile, the cloud continues to grow at an incredible rate. A 2013 survey by NetCraft detected over 150,000 web servers running on the Amazon Web Services platform, hosting an estimated 11.6 million websites.

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