Sizing the Public Cloud Services Market
Gartner’s latest forecast of the public cloud services market predicts that by 2015, this worldwide market will be worth $176.8 billion, achieving a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.9%.
Their latest forecast is based on defining the public cloud services market from revenue generation, not an IT spending perspective. This is in contrast to the public cloud services forecast IDC also released this week, stating that public IT cloud services spending would reach $72.9B by 2015. Of the two approaches, the one that is revenue-based delivers a more granular, detailed look at Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) challenges and opportunities for growth (see tables below for details). The Gartner report, Public Cloud Services, Worldwide and Regions, Industry Sectors, 2010-2015, 2011 Update, was published on June 29, 2011.
Gartner’s decision to base their methodology on revenue generated versus pure IT spending opens up the potential to evaluate entirely new business models based on services growth. The forecast is based on revenue either directly or indirectly generated from the sales of services and from sales to enterprise or consumers. Business process services are defined in this forecast as any process that can be delivered as a service over a scalable, elastic and secure connection over the web. This includes advertising, payroll, printing, e-c0mmerce, in addition to applying applications and systems infrastructure. Presented below are key take-aways and analysis from the reports.
- By 2015, the total market will be worth $176.8 billion, which represents a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2010 of 18.9%. The largest part of this is revenue derived from advertising that is used to provide IT services ($77.1 billion in 2015), which represents an addition to the total size of the IT market.
- The transition of software from licensed to service models continues, but it has yet to reach breakthrough proportions (9.6% in 2010, rising to 13.8% in 2015). Traditional outsourcing services also continue to transition to cloud delivery models, involving a high degree of service standardization. Gartner continues to take a conservative view of revenue recognition in terms of SaaS adoption compared to other research firms as is shown in the following table.
- Application and systems infrastructure are projected to grow the fastest in terms of revenue generation through 2015, with advertising-related revenue being a significant proportion of the total public cloud services market through the forecast period. The following table breaks out public cloud revenue globally by business process services, applications, application infrastructure and systems infrastructure.
- The high-tech, manufacturing and financial services sectors and the public sector will continue to be the most-aggressive adopters of cloud services through 2015. Presented below is a table comparing cloud services revenue by industry sector.
- The North American market continues to be, by far, the largest regional market representing 60% of the global market currently, but growth in China remains of interesting potential.
- Financial services organizations in aggregate represent the largest users of public cloud services.
- Some smaller countries will demonstrate very high growth (more than 25%) in e-commerce cloud services, because of high growth in underlying retail e-commerce. The Census Bureau of the U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that e-commerce sales in the fourth quarter of 2010 accounted for 4.3% of total U.S. retail sales.
Bottom line: Taking a revenue-based approach to defining cloud services shows how critical the application and system infrastructure is to overall market growth. Gartner predicts the fastest growing revenue generating segment of public clouds will be storage services (89.5%) followed by Compute Services (47.8%) and supply management (39.5%).