cloudSpending on public IT cloud services will grow at about six times the rate of the overall IT market, increasing at a five-year compound annual growth rate of 22.8 percent, according to the latest forecast from IDC. Public IT cloud spending will reach $56.6 billion this year and rise to over $127 billion in 2018, IDC forecasts.

Come 2018, spending on public IT cloud services will represent over half of worldwide spending growth in software, server and storage, according to IDC’s “Worldwide and Regional Public Cloud IT Services 2014-2018 Forecast.” Adoption of “cloud-first” strategies by both vendors and IT buyers, as well as entering a new stage of innovation “that will produce an explosion of new solutions and value creation on top of the cloud” will spur growth, IDC says.

As the number and types of cloud applications explode, “cloud services will reach into almost every B2B and consumer services marketplace,” according to IDC.

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“Over the next four to five years, IDC expects the community of developers to triple and to create a ten-fold increase in the number of new cloud-based solutions,” IDC Senior Vice President and Chief Analyst Frank Gens was quoted in a press release.

“Many of these solutions will become more strategic than traditional IT has ever been. At the same time, there will be unprecedented competition and consolidation among the leading cloud providers. This combination of explosive innovation and intense competition will make the next several years a pivotal period for current and aspiring IT market leaders.”

Public Cloud Spending
Seventy percent of 2014 cloud services spending will go toward software-as-a-service (SaaS), IDC says. With most customer demand at the application level, SaaS “will continue to dominate public IT cloud services spending,” according to IDC.

Ranking second among public IT cloud services spending categories, growth in spending on infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) will be fueled by 31 percent compound annual growth in cloud storage over the forecast period.

Platform-as-a-service and cloud storage services spending will be the fastest growing public IT cloud services categories, “driven by major upticks in developer cloud services adoption and big data-driven solutions, respectively,” according to IDC.

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