Cloud technology looks like it’s here to stay, according to a new Microsoft-approved study. The numbers highlight the importance of developing customer relationships, as loyalty to cloud providers is high among clients.

Not only did the study find that more organizations rely on digital rather than physical IT infrastructure, 95 percent of cloud service customers intended to renew their cloud contracts, and more than 80 percent of customers have annual long-term contracts with a primary cloud and hosting provider, and 43 percent having a more than two-year contract.

Research was conducted by 451 Research LLC for The Digital Revolution, Powered by Cloud, a Microsoft Corporation. It was released May 11.

Among its many conclusions, the study emphasizes the importance of customer loyalty as a means of growth.

“By adapting and servicing customers through their entire cloud life cycle and keeping turnover low, cloud service providers will avoid costs associated with churn and new customer acquisition, while benefiting from increased stability and more projectable revenue streams,” Aziz Benmalek, Microsoft’s VP of Hosting and Cloud Service Provide Business, said in a news release.

There are opportunities for more than infrastructure in the cloud. Seventy-one percent of customers’ cloud and hosting budgets are allocated to managed services, hosting, and security. But the cloud can be used for much more. In the study, respondents cited top priorities as achieving goals, growing revenue, enhancing quality of business offerings, and reducing cost.

“Cloud adoption is a key driver in the digital transformation for organizations of all sizes, and service providers can benefit from adopting a more complete approach to the customer life cycle to help them throughout this process,” Michelle Bailey, senior vice president, Digital Infrastructure and Data Strategy, 451 Research, said in the news release.

The Digital Revolution, Powered By Cloud study surveyed 1,700 IT “decision-makers” in small, medium, and large organizations worldwide, as well as gauged customer opinion about budget, cloud adoption, and priorities.