According to a study by Scalar Decisions Inc., Canada’s leading information technology solutions provider, almost three quarters of Canadian organizations have migrated at least some of their IT delivery to the cloud. That’s up from 59 percent in 2016. Scalar’s second annual Cloud Study shows Canadian organizations have moved past security concerns as a barrier to adoption, and are now focused on maximizing the return on their investment in cloud delivery.

According to the study, highly publicized security breaches have not caused organizations to avoid adopting cloud-based delivery. While 35 percent of companies saw security as a factor in determining how much to use the cloud, 90 percent of respondents overcame those concerns to move forward with some level of cloud integration.

“The cloud has become not just a standard IT delivery model, but THE standard IT delivery model,” says Rene Heroux, Chief Technology Officer, Scalar Decisions. “While organizations have ongoing concerns about security, they now see the cloud as a potential solution to those risks, not as a barrier to adopting the technology. Businesses are now looking to reduce costs and increase the efficiency of their cloud infrastructure by developing new software and processes.”

The next frontier for cloud technology is moving from achieving basic benefits such as right-sizing, capital retention, and scalability to more advanced features like continuous integration, continuous development, and continuous deployment process automation. According to the results, companies are planning to boost their spending on cloud services to reap those efficiencies. Organizations plan to increase the share of their IT budget devoted to the cloud from less than 20 percent to almost 30 percent in the next 36 months.

“Major data and development intense companies have been using container technology for many years, but mainstream use of the technology is only starting to accelerate now,” says Heroux. “Allowing for greater speed in software development and deployment, especially when it comes to fixing bugs or adding new features/functionality to application, containerization, and process automation are extremely important opportunities for increasing IT efficiency and agility.”

The widespread adoption of cloud-based delivery systems has levelled the playing field for IT departments. The next battleground is finding partnerships with expert practitioners who can create more effective tools. Among experienced cloud users, 90 percent of respondents say they could benefit from outside partners’ help with security policy, and 80 percent say they could benefit from outside expertise related to cloud infrastructure management.

“The focus for cloud now is how organizations can make the most of their deployments and implementations,” says Warren Shiau, Director, Buyer Behaviour Practice, IDC Canada. “A major shift is the changing perception of cloud and security, with the results indicating security is not only no longer viewed as a barrier to cloud deployment – increased security is now actually perceived as a benefit.”