Most businesses now use some element of cloud computing according to research from Mimecast. However, security concerns remain a barrier to adoption, however 57 per cent of cloud users say that moving to the technology has actually improved security.

According to the Mimecast Cloud Adoption Survey, 51 per cent of enterprises have already adopted some form of cloud computing. The survey also found that 66 percent of enterprises are now thinking of adopting cloud.

That's a reflection of some very satisfaction ratings. Companies that use cloud said they were very satisfied with their cloud experiences: 74 percent of users claimed that used resources better, 73 per cent reported a reduction in infrastructure costs while 72 per cent said that end-user experience had improved.

It's not all rosy however 62 per cent of respondents thought that storing data on external was always a risk and, notwithstanding the experience of cloud users and 74 per cent said there was a trade-off between cost and IT security.

Of the companies that are using cloud, the most popular services are cloud-based email (a finding that's not surprising from a Mimecast survey), storage and security. There's a clear distinction when it comes to company size: smaller enterprises are more likely to use cloud-based security, while large enterprises will opt for cloud-based storage.

However, it's not all sunshine. Cloud vendors themselves are sewing some confusion - according to the survey, 54 per cent of respondents said the potential benefits of cloud delivery models were being overstated by the IT industry.

"It is great to see that cloud computing has now been embraced by the majority of organisations," said Peter Bauer, CEO of Mimecast. "The fact that more than 50 per cent of businesses are now using cloud-based applications is hugely encouraging for the industry and a clear indication that IT is increasingly willing to innovate in order to get better value for money, increased reliability and greater control of their data."