The cloud is starting to permeate every aspect of business operations, and now the statistics exist to prove it. According to statistics cited by Forbes, cloud computing will become a more than $13 billion industry this year among U.S. businesses eager to join and maintain their cloud presence. This surge in popularity points to the rapid growth of the cloud as the singular platform for business exchanges. According to Gartner, 30 percent of companies with a service bent will store most of their data in the cloud by 2018.

As Gartner fellow Andy Kyte explained, "A system that is not sufficiently flexible to meet changing business demands is an anchor, not a sail, holding the business back, not driving it forward."

Kyte said that the cloud is ushering in an age of 'postmodern Enterprise Resource Planning' which will see the cloud become the norm for business storage. What will help facilitate this process, according to Kyte, is the growing emergence of hybrid cloud services, which enable users to shift between different cloud platforms without losing data.

Changing terrain for the cloud
According to Gartner's Nigel Rayner, the entire landscape of business storage will change over the next 10 years as more businesses begin moving ERP functions to the cloud. The question will become which cloud service provider to choose.

Over at Silicon Angle, Jack Woods compiled some statistics to explain the cloud's massive popularity for business, and why that popularity shows no sign of slowing. Here are some of the highlights:

  • A reported 82 percent of companies cut costs by joining the cloud.
  • Cloud traffic worldwide will more than quadruple between 2012 and 2017.
  • The cloud is absolutely massive, currently storing data exceeding one exabyte, according to research firm Nasuni. 
  • The majority of new cloud spending – 59 percent – occurs in North America, and this is a trend that looks to speed up through 2016.
  • 80 percent of organizations that moved to the cloud reported improvements in operations within six months, according to a survey carried out by NSK Inc.

A separate survey carried out by cybersecurity firm Thales returned similar statistics. Their survey – which was conducted among 4,000 organizations in seven countries – found that more than half the organizations surveyed felt comfortable storing information in the cloud. This was a significant rise from the previous year, when only 10 percent were okay doing this.

However, in that same survey, 30 percent of respondents said they did not know what measures their cloud service provider was taking to protect their data. When businesses store data in the enterprise cloud, those measures are clear.  The enterprise cloud represents an opportunity for businesses to take advantage of the benefits of the cloud without compromising security. Since each enterprise cloud is built uniquely for the company that needs it, there is no risk of the business having any difficulty navigating their cloud. And with firewall protection in place, businesses can be sure their data is safe.