A survey has found that the vast majority of companies in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) will move their critical applications into the cloud within the next five years.

A poll by Hewlett Packard has discovered that 80 per cent of those asked would make the switch to virtual storage by 2017, with some commenting that the move would be made within the next two years.

There could even be a large movement towards hosted solutions this year alone, with another survey by IHS iSuppli finding that the cloud platform will pick up further users and expand throughout 2012.

The research body indicates that a key area for growth will be centred around mobile working as more employees are freed from the shackles of having to be in the office and embrace working at home or whilst on the move.