According to a new report from the National Outsourcing Association, UK businesses will get on board with cloud computing for the sake of lowering costs over the next two years. The NOA reckons that adoption of cloud technology will rocket between now and 2012, and investment in the cloud will increase by 78%.

It will come as no surprise to readers of this blog that at the moment, penetration into the cloud by UK businesses is at an uninspiring level of 3%. Businesses are typically slow at taking on new technologies; just look at the general attitude to security measures, which are more often than not five years behind the latest technology. Despite this, the attractive option of cutting costs with cloud computing is what will clinch it for many businesses dithering over cloud computing at the moment.

The majority of businesses who featured in the NOA also counted a need to upgrade their systems anyway as a deciding factor to join the cloud, as well as whether or not cloud will fit with their business’s sector. The majority are not ready to throw everything they have into the cloud, however, with most favouring a hybrid approach using a mixture of in-house and outsourced applications.

So what’s stopping them? Well, aside from the usual security fears, which 75% of respondents still harbour, it is the fear of being locked into using a particular vendor; an overwhelming 98% of businesses featured worry about this over all else. Clearly, there is a niche in the market for an organisation offering cloud computing services with modular options to assuage the fear of vendor lock-in, whilst at the same time being professional enough to deal with security fears.

Martyn Hart, chairman of the NOA, said: “Cloud computing looks set to continue its march into UK businesses over the next few years.

“However, it appears there is still a long way to go before cloud becomes truly ubiquitous, as penetration is still fairly low.