Up until now, most cloud revenue forecasts have focused on specific segments of cloud computing, but that changed today when International Data Corp. released its first report on the “whole cloud.”
The new forecast encompasses just about every possible cloud service one might think of, including public, private and hybrid clouds, plus the software and hardware infrastructure for building clouds, managed cloud services and other related professional services.
The upshot: IDC reckons that worldwide whole cloud revenues will hit $554 billion by 2021, more than doubling the revenues it achieved in 2016.
The research firm notes that the lion’s share of these revenues will be dominated by public cloud services, which are set to account for 48 percent of all cloud-related spending by 2021. That’s up from 41 percent of all cloud spending the category accounted for in 2016. IDC adds that when you throw in spending on hardware to enable public cloud services, plus spending on managed and professional services for the public cloud, those figures jump to 65 percent in 2016 and 68 percent in 2021.
Meanwhile, the total spending on managed cloud services and professional services around cloud adoption accounted for 31 percent of all revenue generated in 2016, a percentage that will remain steady through 2021.
Providers of cloud services are also looking like they’ll become very profitable in 2021, as they’ll rake in 76 percent of all spending on cloud-related infrastructure hardware and software, IDC said.
“The most obvious takeaway from this forecast is that the shift to the cloud consumption model — in all its forms — is a mass movement, and will continue to be such over the forecast period,” said Frank Gens, senior vice president and chief analyst at IDC. “Equally important, though, is the steady drumbeat of tech innovation that is coming from the major public cloud suppliers, making it virtually impossible for enterprises and developers seeking advantage through IT not to embrace the public cloud.”
IDC’s figures for both 2016 and 2021 include emerging new public cloud services such as blockchain services, backend data services for the “internet of things,” serverless computing services and encryption services.
Back in July, IDC published another forecast on the cloud computing industry that said software-as-a-service will be the most dominant segment, accounting for two-thirds of all public cloud revenues this year.