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IDC: Public Cloud Spending to Hit $127 Billion by 2018

That represents a six-fold increase over 2014 sales.

By 2018, IDC sees spending on public IT cloud services rising six times faster than spending on the IT market as a whole, surpassing $127 billion.

IDC said in a press release that the figure reflects a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.8 percent. The analyst firm added that it expects public IT cloud spending to reach $56.6 billion this year. The 2018 figure of $127 billion represents more than half of worldwide software, server and storage spending growth, IDC estimates.

"Over the next four to five years, IDC expects the community of developers to triple and to create a tenfold increase in the number of new cloud-based solutions," IDC Chief Analyst Frank Gens said in the statement. "Many of these solutions will become more strategic than traditional IT has ever been. At the same time, there will be unprecedented competition and consolidation among the leading cloud providers. This combination of explosive innovation and intense competition will make the next several years a pivotal period for current and aspiring IT market leaders."

Software as a Service (SaaS) will continue to command the lion’s share of public IT cloud services spending, IDC reports. In 2014, the firm expects SaaS offerings to grab 70 percent of the $56 billion market, followed by Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Looking into the future, IDC expects "Platform as a Service (PaaS) and cloud storage services will be the fastest growing categories, driven by major upticks in developer cloud services adoption and Big Data-driven solutions, respectively."

IDC predicts the strong future growth to be driven by more "cloud first" strategies, as well as a burst of new innovation from vendors that will permeate both the business-to-business and consumer markets.

The figures released by IDC do not include private cloud sales. Private cloud usage by companies currently outpaces public cloud usage by a wide margin.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.

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