The market for public cloud IT services is set to grow by more than $50bn over the next four years.
According to research from IDC, by 2015 the technology will contribute 46 per cent of net new IT spending growth in five areas: servers, applications, application development and deployment and systems infrastructure software. The analyst predicts that the providers who come out on top in the cloud space will become the IT industry's "new power brokers".
Some $21.5bn (£13.3bn) was spent on public cloud services last year. IDC forecasts the market will post compound annual growth of 27.6 per cent to reach a worth of $72.9bn in 2015. This represents a more than fourfold increase on the projected growth rate of the wider IT market. Almost half of the total public cloud spend will come from the US in 2015, said IDC.
Frank Gens, chief analyst at the market watcher, said: "Cloud services are interconnected with and accelerated by other disruptive technologies, including mobile devices, wireless networks, big data analytics and social networking. Together, these technologies are merging into the industry's third major platform for long-term growth.
"As during the mainframe and PC eras, the new platform promises to radically expand the users and uses of information technology, leading to a wide and entirely new variety of intelligent industry solutions."
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