The majority of chief information officers across Europe believe the cloud will provide their main IT operating channel by 2014, according to research.
While few businesses said they have company-wide implementations of cloud computing to date (16 percent), many enterprises believe the cloud will be their most significant IT operating method by 2014 (60 percent).
Communications provider, Colt, commissioned research among 500 CIOs in the UK, France, Germany, Spain and the Benelux region, with 100 CIOs from the UK taking part.
The findings from the research also reveal the key challenges for cloud adoption as companies look to take advantage of the scalable resource planning the cloud can offer.
The research found that 58 per cent of respondents reported ease of transition as the key challenge for cloud adoption, while quality assurance (55 per cent), cost justification (55 percent) and regulation on security and control of customer data (54 per cent) were also key challenges.
"Whilst the absolute deployment of cloud services is very difficult to establish, the trend is clear," said Mark Leonard, executive vice-president responsible for the CIO office at Colt.
"Companies are evaluating and deploying cloud services at a higher rate year-on-year, driven by the need to be more agile and responsive in today's business climate."
Security is a particular issue for companies in the UK and Germany, with 74 and 70 per cent of IT decision makers respectively expressing their concerns about this area of cloud computing.
Supplier lock-in (46 per cent) and geographic location of the cloud supplier (31 per cent) are also prominent issues for CIOs, Colt said.
Private clouds are popular as an option in Spain (58 per cent), Germany (57 per cent) and the UK (56 per cent). Private clouds are seen as overcoming security concerns, whilst at the same time they can be less scalable and more expensive to run.