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Cloud computing has been embraced by businesses and organisations in great numbers, with large and small firms and both public and private sectors adopting the technology in greater numbers.

It has taken some time for the larger firms to migrate towards the cloud, with security and compliance issues frequently being cited as hurdles to adoption, particularly when it comes to business-critical applications, systems and documents.

The cloud is no longer just used by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to keep up with larger firms, as some of the biggest companies in the UK and around the world are looking to reduce their capital expenditure. They are turning to the cloud in increasing numbers to carry out labour intensive tasks, freeing IT professionals up to focus on other areas of the company, adding value elsewhere, rather than spending time maintaining in-house infrastructure and systems.

With flexible working growing dramatically in recent years, thanks in the most part to the rise of employee-owned devices within the workplace, it is vital that members of staff has constant and reliable access to the data they need on a daily basis. Through the cloud, bandwidth and other barriers can be overcome, allowing people to use enterprise-critical documents, anytime, anywhere.

Despite the rise in the use of the cloud it still has some detractors who believe that it may not be able to meet their expectations or demands, due to the fact there were some initial technical difficulties.

However, the reality is that cloud technology has moved on a great deal and that assurances are available today, so businesses can rest assured that their information will be available when needed.

The maturity of the cloud was recently highlighted by RightScale, which revealed that almost 50 per cent of companies have moved, at least some applications, to the cloud. It found 49 per cent of the 825 businesses questioned are using the technology to some degree, while 17 per cent are in the process of considering migrating systems, applications and data to the cloud, while just eight per cent have no plans at all to embrace the concept.

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