IDC: Public Cloud Market to Reach $100B in 2016

Boom times ahead? Fast growth and IT upheaval will come to characterize the worldwide public cloud services market in the coming years.
Posted September 11, 2012

Pedro Hernandez

Prepare for explosive growth in the public cloud services market.

According to market research firm IDC, the worldwide public cloud services market is poised to reach a lofty $100 billion in 2016. For comparison's sake, this year the group forecasts that spending will total $40 billion.

IDC expects that blistering demand for public cloud services will result in a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.4 percent from 2012 through 2016 -- five times that of the overall IT market. It's a rate of change that will have a dramatic impact on enterprise IT for years to come, says IDC senior vice president and chief analyst Frank Gens.

"The IT industry is in the midst of an important transformative period as companies invest in the technologies that will drive growth and innovation over the next two to three decades," states Gens in a company release. "By the end of the decade, IDC expects at least 80 percent of the industry's growth, and enterprises' highest-value leverage of IT, will be driven by cloud services and the other 3rd Platform technologies."

The firm has identified five key areas in which the public cloud account for 16 percent of IT revenue. These include applications, system infrastructure software, platform as a service (PaaS), servers, and basic storage. Cloud services are also expected to drive 41 percent of all growth in these areas.

The market for public cloud IT services will remain the strongest in the United States during the forecast period. Western Europe and Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) round out the top three public cloud markets.

In terms of growth, emerging markets will take the lead. IDC says that the collective share of emerging markets will nearly double by 2016, representing 30 percent of new public cloud services growth.

What about private clouds?

IDC predicts that as public cloud platforms mature, they will incorporate many of the advantages of private cloud implementations, notably resource allocation and access control. At which point, enterprises will be faced with one decision...

Your data center or mine?

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Tags: cloud computing, private cloud, public cloud

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