For years now, vendors and analysts have been telling us that companies’ move to the cloud was happening and we were on the verge of a huge uptick in cloud usage. According to recent studies, that day is finally here.While user interest research has been indicating that support for the cloud is increasing, reports now show hard numbers indicating that organizations are putting their money where their mouths are: They’re spending more in operational expense, and less in capital expense, reports Computer Economics in its report 2015/2016 IT Spending & Staffing Benchmarks .“We are starting to see the effects of a transition to the cloud,” the report states. “We expect the transition to accelerate operational spending while depressing capital spending. This seems to be happening. We also anticipate that cloud computing will deliver real value to enterprises in lower cost of IT and higher service levels. The data is indicating that the cost of IT is declining on a per-user basis and as a percentage of revenue.”For example, Computer Economics’ findings show that 56 percent of IT organizations are currently increasing spending on cloud applications, compared with only 10 percent that are increasing spending on data center infrastructure.Interestingly, IT spending as a percentage of revenue has dropped since last year from 2.5 percent to 2.3 percent. This could mean that IT spending will rise in the near future. “Another possibility is that the transition to cloud technology is beginning to pay dividends and IT is becoming more efficient,” Computer Economics writes optimistically.In the specific case of government , the federal government led the way in 2010 by declaring a “cloud first” policy, writes Forbes in its report, From Promise to Reality: How Local, State and Federal Government Agencies Achieve Results in the Cloud . For example, enterprise software firm Deltek’s Federal Industry Analysis predicts a 21 percent compound annual growth rate in federal spending on cloud, reaching $6.5 billion by 2019, according to the report. In addition, public sector cloud is predicted to account for more than half of global software, server and storage spending growth by 2018, the report cites IDC as saying.In addition, this emphasis on the cloud has trickled down to state and local governments as well, Forbes writes. “What began as a national policy initiative is now cascading, not merely at the federal level but also into the practices of numerous state and local jurisdictions,” states the report. “Indeed, a growing number of state CIOs have implemented cloud-first policies of their own.”In particular, areas such as law enforcement , case management , and e-government are well-suited for the cloud, Forbes writes. Sales figures are backing this up , according to a recent IDC study. “Just before the Independence Day holiday, research firm IDC released its assessment of the Worldwide Cloud IT Infrastructure Market —and the numbers were astonishing,” writes Fredric Paul in Network World.