Report: Cloud accounts for majority of IT outsourcing services market

A new report by Gartner noted that worldwide spending on IT outsourcing services is forecast to exceed $251 billion in 2012, up from slightly more than $246 billion in 2011. While there are many factions of the ITO market, cloud computing continues to play a central role in its growth.

"Today, cloud compute services primarily provide automation of basic functions," Gartner research director Gregor Petri said. "As next-generation business applications come to market and existing applications are migrated to use automated operations and monitoring, increased value in terms of service consistency, agility and personnel reduction will be delivered."

Gartner noted that while the overall market for cloud computing continues to expand, Infrastructure as a Service remains the fastest-growing segment of the industry. The rapid rise in IaaS adoption is contributing to the increasing cloud market, which is forecast to grow by nearly 50 percent this year to generate roughly $5 billion in 2012, up from $3.4 billion in 2011.

Despite this significant growth, there are still some concerns surrounding the cloud that may limit its adoption. Primarily, these issues involve data security and privacy fears, Gartner noted.

"Continued privacy and compliance concerns may however negatively impact growth in some regions, especially if providers are slow in bringing localized solutions to market," Petri said.

As the cloud continues to invade the private sector, however, decision-makers will gain confidence in its ability to protect mission-critical information, helping the technology approach mainstream adoption. According to a separate report by Market Research Media, the global cloud market is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 30 percent through 2020, eventually generating $270 billion in revenue.

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