More than half of enterprises are expecting to have started the planning and migration to a cloud computing model within the next two years.

Research by Brocade revealed that key business drivers for doing so are to reduce cost (30 per cent), improve business efficiency (21 per cent) and enhance business agility (16 per cent).

The company recently introduced simplified virtualised applications for a move to the cloud, and it said that the findings reinforce its vision that data centres and networks will evolve to a highly virtualised, services-on-demand state enabled through the cloud.

However over a third of respondents cited security as the most significant barrier to cloud adoption, closely followed by the complexities of virtualising data centres, network infrastructure and bandwidth.

Within the small-to-medium enterprise (SME) space, only 42 per cent predict a move to the cloud within the next two years and 63 per cent of these plan to opt for a hosted solution. The availability of bandwidth was also a deciding factor amongst 14 per cent of respondents.

Paul Phillips, Brocade regional director for the UK and Ireland, said: “As data centres become distributed, the network infrastructure must take on the characteristics of a data centre. For the cloud to achieve its true promise, the network needs to deliver high performance, scalability and security.

“What our research tells us is that companies are now recognising the profound positive economic implications of adopting cloud solutions and are ready to make the journey of adoption, but only with a sound infrastructure in place.

“Our findings show that European adoption is on the rise, but businesses need to address a number of very real challenges to reap the benefits of the cloud.”