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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.

Key Take-Aways

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%).

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