The results of the 2012 Future of Cloud Computing Survey are in, and the outlook is extremely optimistic. The survey projects cloud-computing technology is poised for a new level of growth and increasing consumer confidence across all platforms.2012 Future of Cloud Computing Survey Results

The survey, conducted by venture capital firm North Bridge’s analyst Michael J. Skock, garnered 785 survey respondents, including a mix of C-level executive, IT and other respondents. The results do match up with similar research from IDC, Gartner and other industry analyst firms that found high growth trends.

Here are some of the more interesting results from North Bridge’s survey:

-Confidence in the Cloud for mission-critical business applications is up from 13 percent in North Bridge’s 2011 survey to 50 percent in their 2012 survey.

-Around 85 percent of all new software will be delivered via the Cloud/Software as a Service (SaaS). These results are consistent with IDC’s forecast.

-Fifty-five percent of CIOs who responded to the survey will increase spending on SaaS in 2012.

-The top three areas in which cloud technologies are most popular (or, as the survey says, where “cloud formations” are coming together) are: backup and archiving (43 percent), business continuity (25 percent), collaboration tools (22 percent), and big data processing (19 percent).

-Only 3 percent of respondents view the Cloud as ‘too risky,’ a significant drop from the 10 percent of respondents last year who cited this as a concern.

-Venture capital investment in Cloud technology grew by 50 percent from 2010 to 2011 to reach $2.4 billion.

The survey is supported by 39 industry collaborators who run the gamut of established leaders, emerging, fast-growth companies and startups. The 2012 Future of Cloud Computing survey captures current industry perceptions, sentiments and emerging trends in cloud computing.

This year’s collaborators include companies such as Rackspace, Eucalyptus, Amazon Web Services, and Glasshouse. Respondents were asked about a wide range of key issues impacting cloud computing, including drivers of and inhibitors to cloud computing, best practices, sourcing, total cost of ownership (TCO), cloud’s impact on multiple business sectors, and emerging cloud technologies.

Author Bio: Sharon Florentine is a freelance writer who covers everything from data center technology to holistic veterinary care and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting.