Forrester: Public cloud market will reach $191B by 2020

Forrester ups its public cloud value forecast by a fifth of the original forecast from 2011, but the research firm warns there are still a number of barriers to consider.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

The value of the public cloud market is expected to reach at least $191 billion by 2020, according to a new report from Forrester Research.

That forecast is 20 percent higher than what Forrester originally speculated in 2011. By comparison, Forrester estimated that the public cloud was worth $58 billion in 2013. That figure is expected to grow to $72 billion this year.

Software-as-a-service alone accounted for roughly $36 billion in 2013. Encompassing cloud platforms produced $4.7 billion.

Forrester highlighted Amazon Web Services as a key leader last year. Yet, likely in light of the renewed battle recently ignitied by sharp price cuts, analysts pointed toward mounting competition -- notably from "traditional IT partners" such as IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and Microsoft.

While it is clear to many people in business and tech beyond just CIOs, CTOs, and their respective IT teams that the cloud is here to stay, analysts warned that doesn't mean there aren't hurdles in front of cloud adoption still.

James Slaten, vice president and a principal analyst covering infrastructure and operations professionals at Forrester, explained the looming rationales behind these hurdles in a blog post on Thursday, noting it is becoming increasingly difficult for anyone to argue against the public cloud as the most efficient (concerning both costs and performance) deployment method for CIOs going forward.

Slaten wrote:

Still, inertia is difficult to overcome in the enterprise market, and there remain legitimate concerns about the security and performance of cloud solutions in certain parts of the world and for certain use cases and data types. As the past three years have shown, these will be overcome. The CIO’s biggest battle will be the internal cultural, psychological and financial accounting barriers born in a different age that will take decades to change.


Forrester predicted that public cloud platforms will continue to traditional infrastructure and middleware deployments through 2020, speculating that the public cloud will evolve to complement -- rather than replace -- on-premise systems.

Screenshots via Forrester Research

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