European enterprises plan to spend almost one-third of their annual IT budget on cloud computing over the next 18 months, according to research commissioned by virtualisation software firm VMware.
The study, which explored the views of IT leaders involved in the purchase process for cloud computing systems across seven EMEA countries, including the UK, found that 31 percent of IT budgets are allocated to cloud computing, which is up from the 26 percent in a similar study taken in 2010.
VMware said the increase in cloud spending was a result of organisations wanting a more agile, productive and connected enterprise. The vast majority (84 percent) of enterprises across EMEA consider cloud computing to be a "priority", and more than half (56 percent) consider it a "critical/high priority" over the next 18 months.
Of the work taking place in the cloud, most is in private clouds (54 percent), followed by 24 percent in public and 22 percent in public/private hybrid clouds.
Despite the take up of cloud technology the control of data and security are still a major concern, with 52 percent of EMEA organisations saying security is their number one barrier to cloud adoption.
Joe Baguley, chief cloud technologist at VMware EMEA, said: "Cloud is no longer just about cost cutting and peripheral applications. We're seeing a significant shift in the way enterprises think about their IT infrastructures, and cloud is at the absolute heart of that."
The VMware survey was conducted by IDG Research Services among 455 firms in the EMEA region that employed over 250 staff.
In other cloud deployment news SAP's president of Latin America, Rodolpho Cardenuto, said that Latin American markets were not adopting the cloud like the UK and the US, but were instead looking to deploy on-premise applications.