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June 08, 2011

$41 Billion Cloud Computing Market in 2011, $241 Million in 2020

By Gary Kim, Contributing Editor


The global market for cloud computing will grow from $40.7 billion in 2011 to more than $241 billion in 2020, say Stefan Ried, Ph.D. and Holger Kisker, Ph.D., Forrester (News - Alert) Research analysts. that includes revenues for public cloud, virtual private cloud and private cloud services. 

The total size of the public cloud market will grow from $25.5 billion in 2011 to $159.3 billion in 2020. Generally, public cloud services refer to any applications or services that use the public Internet, in a shared environment. 

But it will be hard to separate the cloud services markets from other markets that will evolve with cloud computing. When Apple CEO Steve Jobs (News - Alert) talks about the “post-PC” era, he doesn't necessarily mean that there will be no PCs. What he means is that computing services, devices and applications will be different, and will be used in different ways, primarily as devices that are Internet connected and able to use cloud services as a fundamental capability. 

Basically, computing experiences become ubiquitous, casual, intimate, and physical (multiple ways to interact with the devices using sensors and other input methods). If you think about it, the connection between intimate, casual and ubiquitous computing appliances is obvious.

As computing becomes embedded, it will often become smaller, wearable or available in surfaces of other objects. If you think about the problems information technology managers have updating software just on user desktops, you can figure out why it will make sense to provision and update ubiquitous and small devices automatically, by storing and executing software remotely, so local updating is never necessary.

Such services typically are expected to be sold in standardized versions, billed on a pay-per-use plan and generally invoked by users. Generally speaking, the standardization implies little ability to customize features. 

In the same way, there is a link between cloud technology and mobile technology. Cloud evolution is enabled by mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets that need easy-to-use connections to enterprise resources, as well as the latest versions of all data and documents.   

The infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) generally refers to the rental of storage or computational resources. Think of Amazon Web Services (News - Alert) Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Rackspace Cloud, for example.

A separate segment of the public cloud services market  is access to software platforms (platform-as-a-service or PaaS). Salesforce.com is the preeminent example of a platform service. 

Software as a service is the other popular cloud computing segment. Google Applications and Salesforce.com are good examples. 

Some would say cloud services providing full  business processes (BPaaS) also are a discrete segment of the market. Forrester Research, for example, defines a service as BPaaS if it includes staff to ensure end-to-end process delivery, as PayPal (News - Alert) does for its payment conflict resolution service. 

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Gary Kim is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Gary’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell