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Public cloud adoption continues to grow, according to survey

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According to a new study by the International Data Corporation (IDC), public cloud use has continued to grow among enterprises.

Public investments in the cloud are expected to reach $40 billion worldwide in 2012, and will approach $100 billion within the next four years, which represents a compound annual growth rate of 26.4 percent, the report noted. The rate of adoption toward public clouds will grow faster than the rate of the worldwide IT market, which will reach 6.7 percent.

Experts at IDC also predict that the cloud will become the go-to service for the majority of enterprise IT departments by the end of the decade. By 2015, one of every seven dollars will be spent on a software, server or storage offering presented by a public cloud vendor.

According to the survey, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) will dominate the public IT cloud service market over the next five years, but smaller services like Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) are also growing rapidly.

"The IT industry is in the midst of an important transformative period as companies invest in the technologies that will drive growth and innovation over the next two to three decades," said Frank Gens, senior vice president and chief analyst at IDC.

Public cloud protection

Although cloud computing has become a popular resource for businesses, a recent study by Wakefield Research for Citrix shows that Americans are still confused by cloud services and its capabilities. According to Richard Davies, CEO of ElasticHosts, organizations should take precautions when researching cloud offerings because there are a number of "fake clouds" that take advantage of the public's confusion, reported by Business Cloud9. Fake clouds offer services that don't meet the security expectations of legitimate cloud providers.

Users should also institute the proper security measures to prevent possible data breaches. Experts agree that although the cloud is a popular resource to store company data and to utilize unified communications tools, security is still a major concern for most business owners. Companies should employ passwords and encryption to increase the level of security. Unlike a private cloud, where a company is assigned to a specific server, the public cloud can allow access to users who have the appropriate passwords. As company owners become more trusting of cloud services, it will be more important than ever to use passwords and communicate with the cloud vendor about security.