Whether or not you feel “cloud computing” is the most overhyped buzz term of the past few years, companies are apparently accelerating their adoption of it, at least according to North Bridge Venture Partners’ second annual Future of Cloud Computing Survey. That survey collected the opinions of some 785 respondents across the tech industry, including analysts and vendors. Collaborators included Amazon Web Services, Rackspace, Eucalyptus, and Glasshouse. Some 82 percent of respondents cited Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) as their primary type of cloud investment, placing it ahead of Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) at 72 percent and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) at 66 percent. Around 57 percent of respondents identified scalability as a top reason for adopting the cloud, followed by business agility. Nearly as many (55 percent) noted security as a prime concern, ahead of regulatory compliance (38 percent) and vendor lock-in (32 percent). Despite those concerns, 50 percent of respondents seemed willing to trust the cloud with mission-critical platforms and applications. “It appears that there is growing familiarity and trust of public cloud accompanied by a desire to move beyond one’s own internal infrastructure, cloud or not,” Jay Lyman, a senior analyst with 451 Group, wrote in a statement tied to the survey data. “This is an understandable trend as the public cloud has existed for some time.” The survey indicated some 40 percent of respondents were relying on a public cloud strategy. Another 36 percent reported utilizing some sort of hybrid approach to the cloud—with a total of 52 percent expecting to rely on hybrid clouds within the next five years. Lyman cited this statistic as an indicator of companies’ increasing willingness to integrate the cloud with other technology: “The move away from internally-hosted to public and hybrid clouds reflects the need and desire to integrate with other technologies, vendors and ecosystems. This year’s survey proves organizations want flexibility along with scalability.” Around 80 percent of respondents felt that data analytics (“Big Data”) could very well become the next tech sector to undergo a seismic shift toward the cloud. That’s as sure a sign as any that the cloud has arrived as a platform of choice for many organizations—after all, once you start utilizing the cloud to help store, analyze, and provide actionable insights into massive amounts of data, you’re basically betting your company’s whole strategy on it.   Image: glossyplastic/Shutterstock.com