IT research firm Gartner, Inc. (IT) pounded us over the course of the year with reports on the cloud market, unveiling new trends, releasing new statistics and suggesting new policy -- but which studies stood out the most to us and our readers?

What were some key findings from Gartner reports in 2013? Take a look at the following takeaways from the IT research firm:

  • Cloud contracts need to be more transparent.
  • Only 38 percent of organizations leverage cloud.
  • Half of large enterprises will go hybrid cloud by the end of 2017.
  • The cloud security market is expected to grow to $3.1 billion in 2015.

Gartner: Cloud Contracts Need More Transparency, Less Ambiguous Terms

Software as a service (SaaS) contracts have been under fire for inadequate security provisions with ambiguous terms. Gartner suggested that these SaaS contracts need more transparency.

Gartner: Only 38 percent of Organizations Use Cloud?

Gartner said only 38 percent of all organizations use cloud services today. Does the report take into account the numerous employees using cloud services like Dropbox, Box, Google Apps and more on their own?

Gartner: Half of Large Enterprises to Go Hybrid Cloud by End of 2017

VMware (VMW), Red Hat (RHT), Rackspace (RAX) and others have been pushing and marketing hybrid cloud computing as the next big thing in the channel, calling for providers to design solutions for hybrid environments. Are these vendors right?

Gartner: Cloud Security Market to Grow to $3.1 billion by 2015

Gartner said the cloud-based security services market is expected to top $2.1 billion by the end of this year, reahing $3.1 billion in 2015. Is it all good news? While Gartner said cloud-based security revenue will remain strong, revenue opportunities will vary. 

Big Data Tops Government IT Priorities, Spending Remains Flat in 2013

While much talk around IT is around the private sector, the public sector—specifically governments—lags behind. So which areas of IT are government IT decision-makers focusing their efforts?

Gartner: Limit Data Centers to Two Per Continent of Major Business Activity

How many data centers should businesses have? Gartner recommended that global organizations limit data centers to two per continent of major business activity.

Did we miss a Gartner study on cloud from 2013 that you found to be useful? Let us know in the comments section below.