There has been somewhat of a fear of the enterprise cloud for a few years, but according to Simon Robinson, who runs the storage and information management practice at 451 Research, this may be starting to subside a bit. Robinson wrote on Computer Weekly that companies are starting to embrace cloud storage more, as many organizations now have this "creeping onto the IT agenda."

"The reasons for this are not difficult to fathom, but no less significant for that," he said. "A combination of shrunken IT and storage budgets, growing data volumes and a requirement to make the storage environment more responsive to the business means that moving to a cloud-based model is now more desirable than ever before. At the same time, the growing maturity and adoption of cloud-based, cloud-like and cloud-integrated storage offerings is lowering the perceived risks."

Private cloud computing has especially started to break out, he said, as this was ranked second on a list of in-pilot or in-plan storage technology projects, just behind automated storage tiering. This was ranked seventh in last year's study, making it a hot riser across multiple industries.There are not very many suppliers offering the enterprise cloud right now, but it seems businesses are more willing to try it out.

There is still somewhat of a poor understanding of what the gateway into the enterprise cloud is for suppliers, but another 11 percent said they plan to deploy a cloud storage gateway in the next year and a half, so there must be something going right. The thirst for the cloud is clearly starting to pick up nicely.

"We reiterate that the overall numbers remain relatively small, and so there's clearly still a long way to go before cloud storage can be considered a mainstream enterprise technology, but this research suggests the compelling benefits of a cloud-centric model to storage are becoming increasingly difficult for many IT managers to ignore," Robinson wrote on Computer Weekly.

Hybrid also becoming a popular option
A recent report from Vanson Bourne found that there is also a growing interest in the hybrid cloud. About 72 percent of respondents said they use the hybrid cloud at least in part, and security, control and performance have been some of the drivers which have brought users to the hybrid cloud. Price has also come into play, as 17 percent said overall costs lowered after implementing the hybrid cloud.