Today's business climate requires companies to find new ways to reduce costs while becoming more agile and improving their competitive advantage. For more than a decade now, companies have been implementing virtualization technologies in their data centers to increase efficiency and consolidate servers. Virtualization is a foundational part of cloud computing. The biggest benefits of virtualization are efficiency and operational availability. So many more benefits can be realized by moving beyond virtualization to the cloud. The benefits of cloud include agility and flexibility, the potential for capital reallocation, and accelerated competitiveness.

ESG research shows that cloud adoption is already very high with an average of 57% respondents currently using cloud services with another 31% having plans or interest in cloud services. This makes for an aggregate of 88% either using or considering cloud, or put it another way, this represents a sizable majority of companies that have or will have cloud computing in the near term. Cloud has made it past the market hype phase and we've crossed the chasm to an important element of IT service delivery.