Businesses are increasingly turning to cloud services for their infrastructure, according to new research.
Worldwide spend on Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) this year will reach €30bn - up from €21bn in 2011 - and is set to grow to €70bn by 2016, a study by Pierre Audoin Consultants (PAC) found.
The study, released on Friday, shows that the US is currently the biggest user of IaaS globally, and is expected to spend €12bn on cloud infrastructure services in 2012.
Meanwhile the UK is seeing the highest uptake of IaaS in Europe. PAC estimates total IaaS spending in the UK will be around €2.2bn in 2012, with almost 85 percent of that spent on private cloud IaaS.
"There is greater outsourcing maturity in the UK compared to other European countries and they tend to outsource as much as possible," Karsten Leclerque, principal consultant outsourcing cloud at PAC, said.
IaaS accounts for almost 2.5 percent of all IT expenditure in the UK, compared to 1.5 percent worldwide.
Globally, the lion's share of IaaS is public cloud services: 86 percent of IaaS spending is expected to be on private cloud this year, compared to 14 percent on public.
Public cloud services currently account for more than 10 percent of spending on IaaS services in the US and between five and eight percent of spending on IaaS in major European countries. However, PAC predicts strong growth of public cloud and expects that it will account for between 20 and 30 percent of IaaS revenues by 2015, with countries in the Asia-Pacific region, such as India, China and Indonesia, showing the highest public cloud adoption rates.
Leclerque said that there are still many barriers and challenges to be overcome if IaaS uptake is to reach its full potential, including legal and standards issues.
Many companies are uncertain on the legal regulations surrounding cloud services, which differ vastly from country to country, he added, while the lack of standards within the cloud computing market also pose a problem.
"It's really a big challenge to switch from one provider to the other as there no standard interfaces and no defined standards," said Leclerque.