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As technology nudges businesses into the cloud, more and more companies are becoming comfortable storing data externally, according to a survey from Gartner, an IT research and advisory company. Companies are also more likely to have in place formal processes for assessing risks related to data stored externally.

The survey of 425 IT managers at midsize and large companies in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Germany found that larger companies are more likely to host critical data externally. Only 3% of companies with market capitalizations of $1 billion or more have an explicit policy preventing the sharing or hosting of data and processes externally, compared with 8% of midmarket respondents. Less than 1% of companies lack a policy or process to deal with externally hosted data, down from 5% in 2010.

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