Cloud computing is to become "more of a business and not just a technology conversation" during the next 12 months, according to a global study carried out by auditors KPMG.
KPMG grilled 806 senior executives in 15 countries earlier this year, and has now reported that 81% of businesses are either planning, are in early or advanced stages of experimentation, or had full cloud implementations in place.
Between 10% and 15% said they already ran all core IT services in a cloud, or were on the path to doing so.
KPMG UK head of technology, Tudor Aw, said the results clearly showed cloud computing will soon move from being a "competitive advantage to an operational neccessity".
Respondents also overwhelmingly indicated that they needed to be shown potential cost savings to justify a move into the cloud, suggesting that advice to service providers to lead their cloud pitches on cost benefits and economic considerations has not been misplaced.
In a further fillip to the channel, those whose companies used or intended to use cloud services agreed that their spending would rise significantly next year, with 17% saying their cloud spend would top 20% of the total IT budget.