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Cloud storage adoption on the rise, study says

Cloud technologies in general are gaining significant momentum, as more consumers and businesses alike adopt the technology in an effort to make life more convenient. A new study by IHS iSuppli revealed that cloud storage, in particular, is being leveraged at an increasing rate, with the global number of consumer subscriptions growing to approximately 500 million this year, up from fewer than 300 million in 2011.

"In an environment where mobile devices like smartphones and media tablets handle broadband data on a near-ceaseless basis, businesses are realizing the importance of cloud services in allowing consumers to manage, store and sync content across their devices," said Jagdish Rebello, director for consumer and communications at IHS.

IHS noted that the adoption of cloud storage applications will not yield in the coming years, as the number of subscriptions is forecast to reach 625 million by 2013 and continue experiencing double-digit growth through 2017, at which time there will be roughly 1.3 billion subscriptions worldwide.

A separate report by TechNavio echoed the growing need for storage solutions within cloud computing environments, forecasting the market to expand at a compound annual growth rate of more than 47 percent through 2015. While there are many reasons for adopting the technology, the increasing use of smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices will be a major contributor.

"[With] companies casting about for new viable business models in order to monetize data traffic, cloud-based services could help lead firms into the next revolution of the wireless industry - or at least remain pertinent in the new mobile broadband paradigm," Rebello said.

IHS also noted, however, that simply providing cloud storage services is not enough for providers to remain competitive. As the cloud continues to drive change in the private and consumer sectors, vendors need to ensure their services offer more than just storage, as other value-added features will help them seem more appealing.

"[Providing] cloud services is not profitable as a standalone service, challenging companies to identify value-added services that could generate revenue," Rebello said.

There is no longer any doubt that cloud computing is a dramatic game changer throughout the world, in both the business and consumer landscape. Adopting the technology can help individuals and companies experience a number of benefits, making lives easier and more efficient.

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