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Cloud remains the top priority for IT this year, according to new research released by Unisys. And, it’s not just public cloud space that’s holding the attention of IT professionals looking to reduce costs and ease management—the survey points to a desire for adoption of private clouds as well.  

Unisys conducted the poll on its website recently and asked respondents to identify their top IT priorities for this year. By an overwhelming majority, respondents identified a focus on cloud as their number one priority over other IT initiatives at 44 percent. Coming in at a distant second  (24 percent) was support for mobile/end-user devices.

Other top priorities discovered by the survey included cybersecurity (17 percent), and 15 percent said cost-cutting was top of mind.

Earlier polls conducted in December of last year by the IT company seem to underscore the importance of clouds in general—with 80 percent of respondents saying they had intentions to deploy cloud-based solutions over the next year. The largest group of respondents, 45 percent, said they intended to focus on private cloud deployment while 15 percent said deployments would occur around public clouds. Twenty-one percent intended to take a hybrid cloud approach, blending both public and private deployments.

IT market analysts are not backing down from predictions that cloud will change the way vendors deliver their products and enterprises and SMBs reduce costs while ensuring easier management. And everyone from packaged application vendors to security firms are figuring out how to deliver solutions in a cloud environment and take advantage of the roads being paved by Google, Miscrosoft, and Amazon.

IDC forecasted that worldwide revenue from public IT cloud services would reach $55 billion in 2014, and grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 27.4 percent.  In October of 2010, Gartner released its top IT predictions for 2011, and clouds adoption was at the top of the list. The analyst firm also said hybrid cloud models will gain traction throughout the year, while vendors and enterprises figure out the model that fits best for them and their particular industry and security requirements.

“These poll results are further evidence that organizations are no longer debating whether cloud computing makes sense for their organization. They are now deciding how to get started and what type of cloud best fits their initial strategy,” said Sam Gross, vice president, Global IT Outsourcing Solutions, Unisys.