Global cloud services spending will increase almost three-fold in the next three years and reach $US42 billion by 2012, according to IDC. The analyst group’s latest Asia-Pacific survey found 11 per cent of respondents already consumed cloud-based solutions. Forty-one per cent are either piloting or are considering incorporating cloud services into their businesses, and only 8 per cent of respondents believe cloud computing is mostly vendor hype. The analyst firm defines cloud computing as an emerging IT model that enables real-time delivery of consumer and business products, services and solutions. IDC associate director of research and consulting in Australia, Linus Lai, said that while a lot of people assume small and medium enterprises will be more likely to take up cloud computing, it is not necessarily the case. “We think it’s going to be the Internet-based businesses that are going to be more aggressive in adopting cloud computing,” Lai said. “By Internet-based businesses, I mean a business that generates a huge revenue or conducts most of its business operations through the Internet – so if you sell products or if you are a dotcom company, you will find the value propositions of cloud quickly become much more aggressively adopted.” Given the expected popularity of cloud services, it is paramount for IT vendors to take a leadership role in incorporating cloud computing in their mainstream offerings, partner ecosystem, and customer and market requirements, IDC lead analyst for cloud computing research in Asia-Pacific, Chris Morris, said in a statement. He also stressed the importance of competitive pricing as 50 per cent of survey respondents cited cost-cutting as the biggest reason for considering cloud computing. Lai expressed concern the failing global economy may inhibit the growth of cloud adoption. According to IDC’s survey, 37 per cent of respondents said it was difficult to consider investing in a new system during the economic downturn. However, this line of thought is only justified if there are other perceived low-risk solutions to drive down cost in their IT organisation, Lai claimed.