The year 2021 sounds like a setting for a futuristic sci-fi movie to many but it is close enough for technology experts to predict the global revenues for cloud usage will double before reaching this rapidly approaching date.
According to International Data Corporation (IDC), worldwide cloud revenues will hit US$554 billion by 2021. This is more than twice as high as the figure recorded in 2016 – a measure perhaps of how businesses around the globe are increasingly embracing the technology.
The IDC research identified a number of factors driving this growth. For instance, public cloud services were found to account for 41 per cent of all cloud-related spending in 2016. Forecasts suggest this will increase to 48 per cent by 2021.
These figures rise to 65 per cent and 68 per cent respectively when spending on hardware and software that enables public cloud services is factored in, along with managed and professional services around the cloud.
IDC also flagged up spending on managed and professional services around cloud adoption as another major opportunity in the cloud market, as this accounts for almost a third of all cloud-related spending and is set to remain at this level for the next few years.
“Services supporting public and hybrid cloud environments are hot,” IDC observed, before noting that the market is still dominated by infrastructure for cloud services providers.
Indeed, estimates suggest that more than three-quarters of cloud-related infrastructure hardware and software spending in 2021 will come from cloud service providers, reflecting the ever-growing demand for their services worldwide.
Shift to cloud consumption will continue
Frank Gens, senior vice president and chief analyst at IDC, commented: “The most obvious takeaway from this forecast is that the shift to the cloud consumption model – in all its forms – is a mass movement, and will continue to be such over the forecast period.
“Equally important, though, is the steady drumbeat of tech innovation that is coming from the major public cloud suppliers, making it virtually impossible for enterprises and developers seeking advantage through IT not to embrace the public cloud.”
IDC went on to note that the dramatic rise of public cloud services demonstrates how the cloud delivery and consumption model has “revolutionised the entire IT industry” during the last ten years. It is without question one of the fundamental technologies for business in the last decade.
Nevertheless, it stressed that cloud-related opportunities extend “well beyond” the public cloud, as this accounts for less than 50 per cent of all cloud-related spending today, as private and hybrid clouds, managed cloud services, cloud-related professional services and hardware and software infrastructure for building clouds are also driving the market.
IDC went on to note that in recent years, major cloud service providers have rolled out a “steady stream of innovative new services”. As a result, it is confident that the pace of innovation will continue in the future – and possibly accelerate as the technology continues to advance.
The organisation added that the next few years will also see a “steady expansion of enterprise workloads on the cloud as cloud service providers and their partners focus on new deployment scenarios for these workloads”.
This, it stated, means that “cloud technology will continue to dominate and transform enterprise computing for years to come”.
2021 may seem like a long way away but for those industries already utilising the benefits of cloud services, they already have a glimpse of this future.
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