By Marcus Leach

Following a survey of global cloud providers, OnApp reports that 49 per cent expect the small business (SMB) sector to drive take-up of cloud services in the next 12 months.

A total of 27 per cent expect the enterprise sector to be their primary source of growth, while just 18 per cent see consumers as their greatest opportunity.

The results are taken from an independent survey of cloud service providers commissioned by OnApp, a leading provider of software for the hosting industry.

The survey found that the most common reasons SMBs adopt cloud computing are the ability it gives them to scale their IT services on demand; being able to pay just for the computing resources they use; the lower cost overall of cloud services; and not having to run their own IT infrastructure.

The study also showed that the strongest uptake of cloud services by businesses is anticipated from web and application developers, with 67 per cent of cloud providers reporting this as the segment expected to drive the greatest growth.

According to respondents already offering hosted cloud services, 42 per cent expected to see growth from the broader IT sector, 39 per cent from financial services and 30 per cent from retail customers.

“Based on cloud adoption rates, our survey shows that cloud computing is most accessible to technical users right now," OnApp's CEO, Ditlev Bredahl, said.

"Adoption is being driven by small and medium sized businesses focused on application and web development. This makes sense, since sandboxed development, web development and testing are very well suited to a cloud environment. It’s easy to control costs during development, and as load increases. You can spin up a virtual machine, even if it’s just for an hour or two, because you only need to pay for the cloud as you use it.”

“As more cloud providers enter the market we’re seeing a broader range of industries beginning to take advantage of hosted cloud services. While consumers did not rank highly as a focus area in the survey, they are almost certainly using applications and web sites that are hosted on clouds."

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