Mid-sized companies are now turning to virtualisation to save hardware and power costs and to maximise space according to a new survey.

More than 75 percent of 519 US IT professionals surveyed in October by King Research have already deployed virtualisation in one form and about 10 percent others intend to do so in the next year.

The survey, commissioned by systems management vendor Kace, shows that virtualisation isn't just for enterprise IT shops anymore, as more than half (55 percent) of companies polled said cost savings on hardware, power and space were the primary drivers for adopting the technology. More than 80 percent of those who have deployed the technology reported experiencing savings from reduced hardware requirements.

About 56 percent of the companies surveyed represented midsize companies, or those with between 100 and 5,000 employees. Eighty-five percent of midsize companies have deployed or have plans to deploy some form of virtualisation technology in the next 12 months, and about 64 percent of midsize companies report that their organisations have already adopted application virtualization or plan to do so within 12 months.

"The idea that virtualisation is strictly an enterprise commodity simply doesn't hold - medium enterprises are embracing virtualisation technologies and adopting them at a rapid pace, realising immediate benefits," said King Research's Diane Hagglund.

Yet challenges remain. About 37 percent said that lack of virtualisation expertise limited adoption plans and 35 percent cited costs as a prohibitive factor in adopting the technology.

"The other limiting factors mentioned included lack of vendor support for virtual platforms and the comfort of the application development department with virtualisation technology," said the survey.