Australian public cloud services revenue to hit AU$5b in 2017: Gartner

Gartner says public cloud services revenue will increase 17.1 percent year on year from 2016 to 2017, in line with global trends.
Written by Tas Bindi, Contributor

Public cloud services expenditure in Australia is predicted to reach AU$5 billion by the end of the year, a 17.1 percent increase from AU$4.3 billion in 2016, according to technology analyst firm Gartner.

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) revenue is expected to rise 25.1 percent from AU$1.5 billion in 2016 to AU$1.9 billion in 2017, while platform-as-a-service (PaaS) revenue is forecast to reach AU$262 million, a 28.4 percent uplift from AU$204 million in 2016.

Gartner expects a slighter increase of 14.5 percent in infrastructure-as-a-service revenue from AU$415 million last year to AU$475 million this year, while business process-as-a-service (BPaaS) will grow 6.5 percent year on year from AU$814 million to AU$867 million in Australia.

Cloud management and security services revenue will similarly go up, reaching AU$238 million in 2017 compared to AU$195 million in 2016, which marks a 22.1 percent increase, according to Gartner.

Cloud advertising expenditure is also expected to rise by 11.1 percent from AU$2.6 billion in 2016 to AU$2.9 billion in 2017.

Globally, Gartner forecasts public cloud services revenue to reach $260.2 billion in 2017, compared to $219.6 billion in 2016. SaaS and IaaS performance will drive the 18.5 percent growth.

SaaS revenue is expected to rise 21.6 percent from $48.2 billion in 2016 to $58.6 billion in 2017, while IaaS revenue is forecast to reach $34.7 billion, a 36.7 percent uplift from $25.4 billion in 2016.

Sid Nag, research director at Gartner, said SaaS revenue was greater than previously forecast, contributing significantly to the overall public cloud revenue increase.

"The acceleration in SaaS adoption can be explained by providers delivering nearly all application functional extensions and add-ons as a service," Gartner said in an announcement on Friday.

"This appeals to users because SaaS solutions are engineered to be more purpose-built and are delivering better business outcomes than traditional software is."

The analyst firm expects a year-on-year increase of 26.7 percent in PaaS revenue, from $9 billion last year to $11.4 billion this year.

"Strategic adoption of [PaaS] offerings is also outperforming previous expectations, as enterprise-scale organisations are increasingly confident that PaaS will be their primary form of application development platform in the future," Nag said in a statement.

Cloud management and security services revenue will also trend upwards, according to Gartner, reaching $8.7 billion in 2017, which is 18.4 percent higher than $7.1 billion in 2016.

Cloud advertising expenditure is similarly expected to rise by 15.7 percent from AU$90.3 billion in 2016 to AU$104.5 billion in 2017.

Despite the overall uplift in public cloud expenditure, Nag said only 17 percent of the total market revenue for infrastructure, middleware, application, and business process services had shifted to cloud in 2016.

"Through 2021, this will increase to approximately 28 percent," Gartner's research director added.

In terms of vendor share, Gartner expects 70 percent of public cloud services revenue to be dominated by the top 10 public cloud providers through 2021 including Amazon, Microsoft, and Alibaba.

"In the SaaS and PaaS segments, we are seeing cloud's impact driving major software vendors such as Oracle, SAP and Microsoft from on-premises, license-based software to cloud subscription models," Nag said.

Earlier this year, Apple once again topped the global IT vendor ranks after generating $218.1 billion in IT and components revenue in 2016, beating its second-place rival Samsung by $79 billion, according to Gartner.

Apple retained its top spot despite its 2016 revenue falling below the $235 billion reported in 2015.

Samsung's IT and components revenue came in at $139.1 billion, down from $142 billion in 2015, while Google ranked third with $90.1 billion, up from $74.9 billion in 2015.

Microsoft and IBM also made the top five after delivering revenues of $85.7 billion and $77.8 billion in 2016, respectively, down from the $88.1 billion and $79.6 billion reported a year earlier.

Gartner said the top three vendors -- Apple, Samsung, and Google -- can credit their size to their alignment with the "nexus of forces", which the analyst firm describes as the "convergence of social, mobility, cloud, and information that drive new business scenarios".

The analyst firm additionally said Microsoft was a "large and influential company" when the convergence began, having grown to market leadership during the web and e-business phase, and has managed to pivot to remain relevant.

IBM, on the other hand, gained its size and market dominance in the very earliest IT markets when servers, storage, and consulting services dominated, Gartner added.

The analyst firm also predicts that by 2021, 20 percent of all activities an individual engages in will involve at least one of the top seven "digital giants": Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent.

However, given these digital giants have been consumer-focused, there is an opportunity for other companies to focus on the B2B angle, Gartner said earlier this year.

"For example, Amazon Web Services' cloud is disrupting enterprise hardware and software businesses dramatically. Apple's iOS devices are dominant within enterprise mobility, and Google's presence beyond search into browsers, cloud office, and more is growing," John-David Lovelock, VP at Gartner, said in a statement in June.

Correction: 4:47pm AEDT October 13, 2017: Revenue figures for cloud management and security services amended.

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