A new survey suggests that growth in the popularity of cloud computing is prompting 54 percent of IT decision makers nationally to do more hiring.
In another of the survey's findings, 42 percent of enterprise decision makers say they have at least one cloud computing project planned or already in development, while only 16 percent of small businesses do, the survey found.
Commissioned by Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), the online survey of more than 2,000 IT decision makers from both small businesses (under 250 users) and enterprises (250 or more) was conducted by 7th Sense Research in October, across ten major cities.
One difference between small business decision makers and their counterparts in enterprise IT organizations: the survey shows that cloud computing is currently growing more quickly in the enterprise, even though many cloud services for small businesses and individuals are free.
For instance, 48 percent of decision makers in enterprise IT agreed that, in the next year, their organizations need to "shift to cloud-based solutions," the study report said.
In contrast, only 26 percent of small businesses said the same thing.
The groups aren't really at odds, however.
"Despite beliefs to the contrary, there is positive agreement among IT decision makers about the value of cloud, agreeing it will be a strategic engine in the coming years and not a passing trend or a threat to IT," the survey report said
Of the ten U.S. cities focused on in the survey, Boston came out as the most "cloud-friendly" city for enterprises. Washington, D.C. came in first among small businesses.
The other cities surveyed included Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco.
Among the other results, while New York rated second-highest for cloud-friendliness with enterprises, it ranked last with small businesses. In contrast, the lowest ranked city for enterprise IT decision makers was Detroit.
Microsoft has made a deep commitment to cloud computing and claims to already have more than 40 million paying customers for its various cloud-based online services.
The report, which is entitled "Cloud as an Engine of Growth Survey," is available for download from Microsoft's site.