The global public cloud services market is set to grow by more than 17 per cent in 2016.
According to Gartner, cloud services were worth $178bn in 2015. This is set to increase to $208.6bn in 2016, higher than the nominal GDP of Portugal.
This growth will be driven by cloud system infrastructure services, which are projected to grow 42.8 per cent year-on-year. Cloud application services, one of the largest segments in the global cloud services market, is expected to grow 21.7 per cent to reach $38.9bn.
"Growth of public cloud is supported by the fact that organisations are saving 14 per cent of their budgets as an outcome of public cloud adoption, according to Gartner's 2015 cloud adoption survey," said Sid Nag, research director at Gartner.
"However, the aspiration for using cloud services outpaces actual adoption. There's no question there is great appetite within organisations to use cloud services, but there are still challenges for organisations as they make the move to the cloud. Even with the high rate of predicted growth, a large number of organisations still have no current plans to use cloud services."
Although companies are continuing to make cost savings by adopting the public cloud, many concerns remain regarding security and privacy. Not all of them are concerned about this, of course, with the UK's Atomic Weapons Establishment recently deciding to slip some of its own internal workings onto Workday's public cloud.
"Gartner's position on cloud security has been clear — public cloud services offered by the leading cloud providers are secure. The real security challenge is using public cloud services in a secure manner," reckoned Ed Anderson, research vice president at Gartner.
This is not a unanimous approach to cloud security, however. At the time of the Atomic Weapons Establishment story, one security expert, who asked not to be named, told The Register that bringing in a third-party public cloud provider was "ill-advised" when organisations are an attractive target to hackers.
"When you talk about protecting an organisation you are talking about preventing attackers from finding any way in, and from having any area of leverage," he said, adding: "It is the network effect. Nothing exists in isolation; there is always a link."
Alongside the increase in public cloud, private cloud services are expected to grow at least through 2017. Hybrid scenarios will dominate as companies continue to use multiple on-premise, private, and public cloud offerings.
Hybrid cloud faces challenges, however, and Gartner reported that organisations are concerned about integration challenges, application incompatibilities, a lack of management tools, a lack of common APIs and a lack of vendor support too.
"Of course in the case of hybrid cloud, these top concerns also highlight some of the top opportunities for providers," said Anderson: "We know that public cloud services will continue to grow. We also know that private cloud services (of various types) will become more widely used. Therefore, providers must focus on the top hybrid cloud challenges to be successful in meeting the growing demand for hybrid cloud solutions." ®