Businesses will spend $128 billion on public cloud this year, says IDC

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) will dominate as the top cloud computing type, capturing two-thirds of all public cloud spending in 2017.

Spending on public cloud services and infrastructure is forecast to reach $266 billion in 2021, according the latest data from IDC. Public cloud services spending is expected to reach $128 billion in 2017, up 25.4 percent over 2016.

Sofware-as-a-Service (SaaS) will dominate as the top cloud computing type, capturing two-thirds of all public cloud spending this year. Customer relationship management applications and enterprise resource management will also account for significant public cloud spending throughout the forecast period, while Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) will ramp up with the fastest growth rates.

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The US will account for more than 60 percent of worldwide cloud revenues through 2021, with total spending of around $163 billion. By industry, IDC says discrete manufacturing, professional services, and banking will spend the most on public cloud services, while media, retail, and telecom will see some of the fastest growth.

"Much of the public cloud services growth in these industries is coming from new projects and initiatives from functional areas like customer service and sales," says IDC customer insights analyst Eileen Smith.

In terms of company size, IDC says more than half of all public cloud spending will come from businesses with more than 1,000 employees, while medium-sized businesses will deliver about 20 percent of spending throughout the forecast. Purchase priorities vary depending on company size, but overall IDC expects CRM and ERM applications, in addition to server and storage hardware, to be the leading product categories.

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