Three years ago to the day, I reported on a survey that showed 45% of businesses and IT pros thought the risks of the cloud outweighed its perceived benefits.
Cloud computing in 2010 garnered as much respect as a password sent in clear text. Most C-level executives scoffed at the notion of cloud computing replacing any of their critical or security systems, especially those executives in regulated industries.
Fast-forward to today, and Gartner is touting its research that predicts 10% of overall IT security enterprise product capabilities will be delivered in the cloud within the next 24 months.
In addition, a recent study by Neovise Research shows that more than half of U.S. businesses are using public or private clouds, a number that had Forbes proclaiming "the cloud has gone mainstream."
Gartner's January 2013 survey on security spending shows security buyers are placing high demand on cloud-based security service offerings. A cross-section of U.S. and European companies say they plan to increase the consumption of several common cloud services during the next 12 months.
Today, cloud security services are changing market dynamics, in places like secure Web gateways, remote vulnerability assessment, and identity and access management (IAM), according to Gartner.
Gartner expects the cloud-based security services market to reach $4.2 billion by 2016. Overall, cloud-services spending is expected to hit $207 billion in that same year.
Also in 2010, cloud computing was the first entry on Gartner's list of strategic technologies, but it was more of a forecast than a statement. That same year, IDC said cloud services would outpace traditional IT spending over the next five years and would represent $44.2 billion by 2013, more than a few billion short of today's predictions.
The Neovise study conducted by company president Paul Burns and sponsored by cloud provider Virtustream, found that 54% of organizations are already using public or private clouds. The survey polled 822 IT leaders.
The study showed that all varieties of clouds are in use. Among organizations already using infrastructure as a service (IaaS), 74% used more than one type of IaaS cloud variant - public, private or hybrid.
Take these studies for what you think they are worth, but the pointer is squarely aimed at the cloud gobbling up more IT planning and spending.
Today's numbers show just how backward the thinking was three years ago. Today, businesses and IT pros think the perceived benefits of the cloud clearly outweigh the risks.