As the prospect of using cloud infrastructure technologies continues to influence decision-makers to adopt hosted services, companies are forced to choose which model they will implement: the private, public or hybrid network. In most cases, organizations are opting for the public cloud, because its multi-tenant environment and low buy-in opportunity lets firms of all sizes embrace the services.
A recent report by Gartner highlighted the progress of the public cloud, noting that it is forecast to generate roughly $131 billion in revenue in 2013, up 18.5 percent from the 2012 value of $111 billion. As executives gain more confidence in the cloud, they will leverage the solutions for a broader range of purposes, hoping to extend the value of the services to more departments and teams within the organization.
“The continued growth of the cloud services market will result from the adoption of cloud services for production systems and workloads, in addition to the development and testing scenarios that have led as the most prominent use case for public cloud services to date,” said Ed Anderson, research director at Gartner. “Evidence of this growth is found in the increasing demand for cloud services from end-user organizations, met by an increased supply of cloud services from suppliers.”
Some models garner more appreciation than others
Although the majority of the public cloud market is forecast to increase, certain segments of the industry will experience faster or more substantial growth than others. Because so many organizations are looking to augment storage, general computing and printing services, for example, the cloud infrastructure portion of the sector is forecast to develop quicker than other services.
Analysts said Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) grew 42.4 percent in 2012 to generate $6.1 billion in revenue and this rate will continue into this year, expanding 47.3 percent to $9 billion in revenue. This rapid evolution will make IaaS the fastest-growing cloud segment of the global market.
A separate report by a major networking solutions provider revealed that firms are opting for IaaS because they want storage capabilities that are compatible with other solutions hosted in a cloud environment. Decision-makers are recognizing the need to leverage advanced underlying technologies, encouraging firms around the world to utilize cloud infrastructure tools whenever possible.
Gartner said that while IaaS may be expanding the fastest, there is still a strong demand for virtually every service offered in the cloud, including Business Process as a Service, which will make up 28 percent of the total market in 2013. Software as a Service will account for 14.7 percent of the industry, while management and security offerings make up 2.8 percent.
In addition to this variation of demand, different regions throughout the world have contradicting needs for the cloud, as some countries may be handling the macroeconomic crisis better or have stricter compliance needs than others.
“IT services providers, particularly those focused on delivering cloud services offerings or related services, must consider these disproportionately large mature markets if they want to play a leading role in cloud services growth worldwide,” Anderson said.
In the coming years, the cloud will continue to mature and evolve, driving businesses of all sizes and industries to the market to improve operations and gain a competitive advantage over rival firms that are not making good use of the cloud. By planning ahead and establishing a robust set of long-term goals, executives can implement the cloud more efficiently.
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