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An IDC forecast said spending on public cloud services will hit $72.9 billion by 2015; software-as-a-service will be the big winner.
Spending on public cloud services will almost quadruple in the next four years, according to a newly released forecast by IDC.
The global market analysis group predicts that 46 percent of the total spending in net new growth areas will be in five cloud-related markets: applications, app development and deployment, basic storage, servers and systems infrastructure software. This growth will account for a global spending total of $72.9 billion -- a huge increase over 2010's spending total of $21.5 billion.
IDC is basing its predictions on the growing adoption of smart phones, tablet PCs and Facebook in the enterprise.
"Cloud services are interconnected with and accelerated by other disruptive technologies, including mobile devices, wireless networks, big data analytics and social networking," said Frank Gens, senior vice president and chief analyst at IDC, in a released statement. "Together, these technologies are merging into the industry's third major platform for long-term growth. As during the mainframe and PC eras, the new platform promises to radically expand the users and uses of information technology, leading to a wide and entirely new variety of intelligent industry solutions."
The United States, already the highest-spending region in the public cloud market, will account for 50 percent of all revenue by 2015. However, cloud adoption in non-U.S. territories will grow at a faster rate.
The software-as-a-service (SaaS) market is projected by IDC to be the biggest cloud segment winner, accruing roughly a third of the growth by 2015. IDC based this prediction on the success of SaaS providers in improving their infrastructures to cater to larger numbers of clients.
Although the study accounts for IT spending in the public cloud sector, it does not include figures from private cloud deployments.
"While private clouds provide the customer with the ability to specify access limitations and the level of resource dedication beyond what is currently available in public cloud offerings, IDC's expectation is that public clouds will mature and eventually incorporate many of the capabilities (particularly security and availability) that make private clouds a more attractive option today," IDC commented in a press release.