Recent data shows that businesses are spending more than ever on the cloud and all indications are that there's no cap on how much will be spent in the coming years.

The State of Cloud Computing

According to this infographic from Raritan DCIM, cloud business process service (BPaaS) spending is increasing at staggering rates. From 2011 to 2016 (projected), the compound annual growth rate for SaaS for business intelligence apps is 27.4 percent, 16.3 percent for CRM, 34.0 percent for digital content creation, 25.9 percent for content management, 23.4 percent for ERP, and a staggering 49.1 percent for office suites.

If we had the ability to look forward 10 years and gather spending data, we would probably see even higher figures. Cloud computing and BPaaS spending is increasing at astronomical rates and the future of the industry is very bright.

7 Reasons Why Businesses are Turning Towards the Cloud

But why exactly are businesses turning towards the cloud? Why is end-user spending on cloud services projected to surpass $180 billion by the end of this year? There are a number of reasons, but the following are the most common:

Better organizational visibility.
Easier collaboration.
Rapid development.
Consistency across platforms.
Enhanced security.
Lower risk.
Cost savings.

The Future of Cloud Computing

"Instead of a slow-moving fluffy white cloud image, the cloud computing industry should use a tornado--that might be a better way to visualize how fast cloud computing is growing today," writes TJ McCue, Forbes.com contributor. It's hard to predict exactly where the industry will go and how it will continue to transform businesses, but there are certainly some strong opinions by those close to the issue.

Organizational structure is likely to be affected most heavily. Businesses will become increasingly willing to hire remote employees and invest in hives (groups of employees working in different locations). This will increase staffing flexibility and reduce costs. It will also cause geographical limitations to dissipate, meaning any employee can work for any business.

Security will also be something to keep an eye on. While cloud technologies are relatively safe at the moment, hackers and cyber criminals will turn their focus to these technologies over the course of the next few years. How the industry responds will be important to its long-term success.

The top uses for the cloud will likely be application development, database-as-a-service (DBaaS), and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). However, don't be surprised if completely new industries and specialties arise as cloud technology expands and grows.

Adapt or Fall Behind

As a business owner or key decision maker, you'll have to make a decision regarding the cloud. If you haven't already adopted this growing technology, you'll risk falling behind. In the next five years, cloud computing will become the norm and the businesses that aren't willing to adapt will become inefficient and unreliable. The choice is yours--but the answer seems pretty obvious.