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Sizing the Public Cloud Computing Market

Forecasting the global public cloud market is growing from $25.5B in 2011 to $159.3B in 2020 in the report Sizing the Cloud, Understanding And Quantifying the Future of Cloud Computing  (April, 2011), Forrester Research has taken on the ambitious task of forecasting each subsegment of their cloud taxonomy.   Forrester defines the public cloud as IT resources that are delivered as services via the public Internet in a standardized, self-service and pay-per-use way.   The aggregate results of their forecasts are shown in the attached graphic.

The forecast range is from 2008 to 2020 and I’ve included several of the highlights from the study below:

  • Forrester breaks out Business Process-as-a-Service (BPaaS) in their public cloud taxonomy, not aggregating this area of cloud computing into IaaS or PaaS.  This is unique as other research firms have not broken out this component in their cloud market taxonomies, choosing to include Business Process Management (BPM) as part of either infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) or platform-as-a-service (PaaS) subsegments.  Forrester is predicting this category will grow from $800M in 2012 to $10.02B in 2020.
  • SaaS is quickly becoming a catalyst of PaaS and IaaS growth, growing from $33B in 2012 to $132.5B in 2020, representing 26% of the total packaged software market by 2016.  Forrester is predicting that SaaS will also be the primary innovative force in public cloud adoption, creating applications that can be tailored at the user level.  Forrester is bullish on public cloud growth overall, and their optimistic outlook can be attributed to the assumption of cloud-based applications being configurable at the user level, with little to no enterprise-wide customization required.
  • PaaS is forecasted to grow from $2.08B in 2012 to $11.91B in 2020.  Forrester is defining PaaS as a complete preintegrated platform used for the development and operations of general purpose business applications.  The research firm sees the primary growth catalyst of PaaS being corporate application development beginning this year.  By the end of the forecast period, 2020, up to 15% of all corporate application development will be on this platform according to the report findings.
  • IaaS will experience rapid commoditization during the forecast period, declining after 2014.  Forrester reports that this is the second-largest public cloud subsegment today globally, valued at $2.9B, projected to grow to $5.85B by 2015.  After that point in the forecast, Forester predicts consolidation and commoditization in the market, leading to a forecast of $4.7B in 2020.
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