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Public cloud to grow 18 percent this year, report says

Whether the private sector's new trend is adopting cloud storage, backup or next-generation collaboration applications, it seems that nearly every emerging technology has something to do with the cloud. Experts and industry observers have touted the cloud's ability to enhance efficiency and boost mobility without jeopardizing the security of mission-critical assets. And in most cases, the cloud delivers on these promises.

A new report by Gartner confirmed the growing trend of adopting cloud services, as the overall market for the public cloud is forecast to increase more than 18 percent in 2012, generating approximately $109 billion in global revenue. This represents significant growth from 2011, at which time the worldwide market generated slightly more than $91 billion in revenue.

"The cloud services market is clearly a high-growth sector within the overall IT marketplace," said Ed Anderson, research director at Gartner. "The key to taking advantage of this growth will be understanding the nuances of the opportunity within service segments and geographic regions and then prioritizing investments in line with the opportunities."

Some cloud models experience more growth than others
Gartner analysts predict the Business Process as a Service segment will account for the majority of the public cloud market, as it alone is estimated to produce more than $84 billion in revenue in 2012. This model includes popular cloud advertising solutions, which will make up about 47 percent of public cloud spending through 2016.

In addition to BPaaS, Software and Infrastructure as a Service are also increasing in size. According to Gartner, SaaS is forecast to generate slightly more than $14 billion in revenue in 2012, while IaaS will generate approximately $6.2 billion. Although IaaS amounted to less than one-third of the size of the SaaS market in 2010, the two segments will be roughly the equal size in 2016.

A similar study by IDC forecast the public cloud market to expand at a compound annual growth rate of more than 26 percent through 2016, which is five times faster than the overall IT industry. By 2020, analysts believe at least 80 percent of IT's growth will be driven by the cloud.

As organizations embrace next-generation technologies, it will eventually become the norm for nearly every IT operation to be migrated to the cloud.

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