More than half of organisations are looking to cloud computing as a strategy for business growth, according to a Microsoft-commissioned study conducted by 451 Research.
The New Era of Hosted Services survey involved 1,500 small, medium and large businesses across Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia, including the UK, US, Canada, Germany, China, India and Japan.
The findings suggest that 52 per cent of those surveyed see the cloud as helpful to growing their business or adopting a new company strategy.
It also revealed that two-thirds of software-as-a-service customers use software online that has been previously installed on-premises, demonstrating the switch away from physical copies of software. This change in the industry was likely a major factor contributing to the one million subscriptions to Microsoft's Office 365.
The study showed that 30 million servers using x86 architecture are operating throughout the world, with 22 million of these running Windows and Windows-based applications. However, the server market has seen declines in the first quarter.
“The next two years will be the era of hybrid cloud, with 68 per cent of customers planning to adopt hybrid cloud models – up from 49 per cent today,” said Marco Limena, vice president of the Hosting Service Providers Business at Microsoft.
“In addition, the survey found that as customers begin to move their IT environments into the cloud, software is sticky and brand is even more important.”