Gartner: Worldwide Public Cloud Services Market To Reach $131B

By comparison, last year's numbers measured 111 billion. Infrastructure as a service, including cloud compute, storage and printing, continued to grow rapidly with projected rates in excess of 47 percent.

"The continued growth of the cloud services market will result from the adoption of cloud services for production systems and workloads, in addition to the development and testing scenarios that have led as the most prominent use case for public cloud services to date," said Ed Anderson, research director at Gartner, in a prepared statement. "Evidence of this growth is found in the increasing demand for cloud services from end-user organizations, met by an increased supply of cloud services from suppliers."

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The Gartner statistics seem to be in line with the experiences of channel partners, although at least one such partner suspects that the eventual outcome may be a source of even greater optimism.

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"There is no doubt that while we are still early in the adoption curve for cloud infrastructure, when it comes to public cloud consumption, such as software as a service for consumer consumption of cloud infrastructure, those numbers are consistent with what we're seeing," said Jonathan Sharp, vice president of marketing with Latisys, an Ashburn, Va.-based managed service provider. "But, we might eventually determine that this 18.5-percent growth rate might even be a little low."

According to Gartner, cloud advertising, cloud business process services and cloud application services constitute the top three subsegments, representing 48 percent, 28 percent and nearly 15 percent of the market, respectively. Meanwhile, infrastructure as a service was measured at 5.5 percent, management and security services at 2.8 percent and platform as a service measured an even 1 percent.

Geographically, the highest growth rates were found in Asia/Pacific, Latin America, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, where the law of small numbers served to pump up the percentages. However the report also noted that China is a market that is simultaneously large and growing. North America remains the largest market for cloud services, accounting for nearly 60 percent of projected spending between now and 2016. Western Europe is determined to be the second largest region, with a projected 24 percent of the cloud spend during the same time period.

"IT services providers, particularly those focused on delivering cloud services offerings or related services, must consider these disproportionately large mature markets if they want to play a leading role in cloud services growth worldwide," said Anderson's statement. "Similarly, markets in Emerging Asia/Pacific, Greater China and Latin America should also be important considerations for IT services providers that want to capitalize on the high growth of these regions, particularly Latin America and Greater China."