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Survey: 45 Percent of Customers Beyond Pilot Phase for Cloud Deployment

Microsoft-commissioned survey also highlights customer interest private and hybrid cloud solutions

Companies are moving forward with cloud deployments at a rapid rate, according to Hosting and Cloud Go Mainstream: 2014, a Microsoft Corp.-commissioned study conducted by 451 Research LLC. The new study showed that more than 45 percent of organizations surveyed are beyond the pilot phase, and 32 percent now possess a formal cloud computing plan as part of their overall IT and business strategy. The data also highlights that on-premises private cloud adoption accounted for 26 percent of on-premises infrastructure spending in 2013, and hosted private cloud is expected to experience the highest rate of growth for off-premises infrastructure, accounting for 32 percent of hosted spending in the next 24 months.

"Hosted private cloud is a gateway to hybrid cloud environments for many customers," said Marco Limena, vice president, Hosting Service Providers, Microsoft. "We've seen significant traction for these environments as our hosting business continues growing at a high rate year-over-year. With this momentum continuing to build, it's clear that we've reached a tipping point where most companies have moved beyond the discovery phase and are now moving forward with cloud deployments to deliver improved business results and capabilities."

This momentum toward hybrid cloud infrastructures will create significant opportunities for hosting service providers to provide flexible, secure environments that meet customers' unique needs.

"While cloud environments are significantly changing the way businesses operate today, one thing that hasn't changed is the importance of security. As a result, security has emerged as the primary, and potentially most lucrative, cloud opportunity for hosters," said Michelle Bailey, senior vice president, Digital Infrastructure and Data Strategy, 451 Research. "Hosting is now the de facto solution for ‘trusted cloud' implementations, and customers are willing to pay a premium for assurances. Our research shows that 60 percent of customers would pay their hosting service provider a 26 percent premium on average for security guarantees - and an additional 25 percent are already paying for such services."

Microsoft is committed to helping customers transition to the cloud and has built a large portfolio of products to support this effort. Customers can tap into infrastructure solutions such as Windows Server, Microsoft System Center, Microsoft SQL Server and Windows Azure, as well as applications such as Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Office and Office 365. And with Cloud OS, Microsoft offers customers a comprehensive, consistent cloud solution to bridge their on-premises investments with cloud-based deployments. Microsoft also believes in giving customers full flexibility when deploying these technologies, and its strong alliance with its community of hosting service providers around the world ensures a seamless experience for customers. Microsoft has added 5,000 new hosting service providers in the past 12 months, making its hosting community the largest of any vendor.

Hosting and Cloud Go Mainstream: 2014 was designed and conducted in conjunction with 451 Research (https://451research.com) December 2013-March 2014. The research includes responses from more than 2,000 IT decision-makers across small, midsize and large organizations who currently are purchasing hosting services or software-as-a-service across 11 countries, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, Japan, South Africa, Singapore, India, Australia and Brazil.

Full research study results can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/download/presskits/cloud/docs/HostingStudy2014.pdf.

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