Gartner: Public cloud services to total $131B by 2017

Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS)—including storage and cloud compute services—remain the fastest growing segment of the market, according to the research firm, but high-growth emerging markets are where the money is.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor

Gartner said today in its latest findings that the public cloud market is forecast to grow by more than 18 percent worldwide in 2013, amounting to $131 billion, up from $111 billion in 2012. 

The research firm predicts that from 2013 through 2016, $310 billion will be spent on cloud advertising alone out of a total $677 billion spent over the four-year period. 

The main segments of the cloud market—which by any standards is an almost impossible feat to attempt to measure—will be Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), which will remain as the fastest growing segment of the market, accounting for more than 47 percent to $9 billion in 2013, up from 42 percent in 2012.

Specifically, according to the report, cloud compute, storage and print services will expand rapidly as companies, businesses and enterprises take to the cloud to carry out all manner of number-crunching scenarios, favoring outsourced high-performance machines over their own measly in-house solutions. (We're talking about Amazon's Web Services and Google Compute, by the way.)

Gartner says cloud-based advertising services continues to be the largest segment of the cloud services market, accounting for just shy of half of the total market in 2012. 

'Something-as-a-service' spending breaks down as follows: cloud application services (SaaS) at 14.7 percent, cloud system infrastructure (IaaS) at 5.5 percent, cloud management and security at 2.8 percent, and cloud applications platforms (PaaS) at 1 percent.

The usual suspects in the Western markets will maintain the bulk of the spending, although overall year-over-year growth is slowing down. Emerging markets in the Asia-Pacific, Latin American, Eastern European, and Middle Eastern and North African markets will show the highest growth rates while still representing the smallest markets overall. 

In prepared remarks, Gartner research director Ed Anderson noted that not all countries are created equally in the cloud services market and outsourcing customers should choose their locations carefully:

Although forecast growth is generally high across all regions, the adoption of cloud services varies significantly by country. Providers should not assume that a generic strategy applied to specific countries or regions of the world will produce the same outcome when applied to other countries, even countries with similar market characteristics.

North America holds onto the crown for the largest region in the cloud services market with 59 percent of all new spending from 2013 through 2016, while Western Europe will hold onto second place with 24 percent.

It should come as little surprise that with a new European data protection law on the table and a disparity between the U.S. and EU legal frameworks, companies on both sides of the pond are sticking to their local guns and outsourcing where they think its safe.

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