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Public cloud computing spending to approach $100 billion in 2016, IDC says

The public cloud is continuing to gain momentum in the private sector, with businesses of all sizes leveraging a wide variety of cloud-based applications. Since the technology is cost effective and promises to boost operational efficiency, decision-makers believe the cloud can be a real game-changer in today's otherwise unstable economy.

A new report by IDC echoed the growing popularity of the public cloud, as analysts forecast the market to expand at a compound annual growth rate of more than 26 percent through 2016. Global spending on public IT cloud services is expected to exceed $40 billion in 2012 and continue increasing in the future, eventually approaching $100 billion in 2016.

"The IT industry is in the midst of an important transformative period as companies invest in the technologies that will drive growth and innovation over the next two to three decades," said Frank Gens, chief analyst at IDC. "By the end of the decade, IDC expects at least 80 percent of the industry's growth, and enterprises' highest-value leverage of IT, will be driven by cloud services and the other 3rd platform technologies."

Cloud computing essential to IT growth
Software as a Service is forecast to make up the majority of the growing public cloud market, which in turn will push the IT industry forward, IDC noted. Cloud storage, in particular, will help drive cloud adoption as companies look for flexible and cost-effective environments capable of expanding with demand.

A separate report by Gartner echoed the growing SaaS market, as analysts believe it will generate more than $22 billion in revenue by 2015, up from slightly more than $14 billion in 2012.

"After more than a decade of use, adoption of SaaS continues to grow and evolve regionally within the enterprise application markets," said Sharon Mertz, research director at Gartner. "Increasing familiarity with the SaaS model, continued oversight on IT budgets, the growth of platform as a service developer communities and interest in cloud computing are now driving adoption forward."

As the cloud market continues to expand, driven by the adoption of the technology by small companies and large businesses alike, decision-makers will gain confidence in the cloud and invest more in the hosted services to remain competitive with rival firms and reduce long-term expenses.

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