IDC: Public cloud to be $127B industry by 2018

Public IaaS market to grow 6x faster than IT market

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Research firm IDC’s latest estimate pegs the public IT cloud market at $56.6 billion this year, and it’s expected to grow to a $127 billion market within four years.

The public cloud computing market is still in the early stages of adoption, with rapid growth forecasted in the upcoming years. IDC predicts the cloud market to grow at a compound annual rate of 22.8% each year, which is six times faster than the growth in the overall IT market. By 2018, IDC expects that cloud spending will account for half of software, server and storage spending growth.

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The SaaS market is the leader in the cloud, making up 70% of current cloud spending. The IaaS market is the second-largest, while the platform as a service (PaaS) market is the fastest growing, but smallest major segment of the market, IDC says.

One factor that IDC expects will help encourage cloud computing adoption will be the rise of industry-specific cloud offerings. Having cloud computing services tailor-made for specific vertical industries - which is the idea of a “community cloud” will help appeal cloud services more specifically to businesses. “Many of these new solutions will be in industry-focused platforms with their own innovation communities, which will reshape not only how companies operate their IT, but also how they compete in their own industry,” IDC’s Chief Analyst Frank Gens says in new report out today.

The market has already seen some industry-specific customization of cloud services. Cloud providers like Amazon, Microsoft and Verizon have separate cloud IaaS offerings tailored for government workloads, for example. In the SaaS industry, customization to specific vertical industries is becoming more common as well from companies like Salesforce.com.

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