Cloud technology to boom in 2018, say top global analysts

Moving to the cloud is becoming a priority for many organizations because of the efficiencies and cost advantage it offers. This year, analysts say, will be the year of the cloud.
13 April 2018

Even the US Airforce is leveraging the cloud. Source: Facebook / Microsoft in Government

There are definite benefits to moving your business to the cloud, but the transition isn’t simple. It’s a journey that’s riddled with challenging choices around hardware, software, and vendors.

However, those that invest the time and resources required to make the move will be able to keep up with the competition and meet new customer expectations around efficiency and agility.

According to Gartner and IDC, the cloud market will be buzzing all year long with more and move businesses taking the plunge and diving headfirst into the cloud.

Both companies are betting on the growth of the public cloud. Gartner foresees a 21.4 percent growth in worldwide public cloud revenues this year and expects the market to reach US$186.4 billion, up from $153.5 billion in 2017.

IDC, therefore, expects that public cloud data centers will invest about US$34.47 billion in new infrastructure to keep up with growing demand.

According to IDC’s predictions, investments in off-premises private cloud environments will reach about US$6.8 billion and on-premises private clouds will reach about US$11 billion, which is 61.7 percent of the spending on private cloud IT infrastructure.

“Growing expansion of digital transformation initiatives enables further adoption of cloud-based solutions around the globe. This will result in a continuous shift in the profile of IT infrastructure buyers. SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS offerings address a broad range of business and IT needs of enterprises from ‘lift-and-shift’ to emerging workloads” said Natalya Yezhkova, research director, Enterprise Storage.

As a result, service providers’ demand for IT Infrastructure for delivering these offerings is growing steadily making them as a group a major buyer of compute, storage, and networking products, Yezhkova explained.

It’s interesting to note that it’s not just enterprises that are moving to the cloud. Even government organizations are working hard on evaluating cloud strategies these days.

In a recent blogpost, Tom Keane Head of Global Infrastructure, Microsoft Azure noted: “From the state and local level to the largest federal agencies, U.S. Government customers are using Azure to transform how they meet the needs of citizens. We’re seeing strong growth on Microsoft Azure Government, the mission-critical cloud, delivering the latest innovation to over 7,000 U.S. Government customers and their partners.”

Keane points out that customers for his cloud products serve in every federal cabinet agency and across the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. The technology giant claims to have supported over 500 million government authentications and adds a new 1TB drive every eight minutes to keep up with their needs.

“Our growing ecosystem includes more than 500 offerings and 350+ partners in the marketplace, recently reaching 2.5M compute usage hours per month,” explained Keane.

Further, according to IDC, in cloud IT environments, spending in all technology segments, except for storage platforms, is forecast to grow at double-digit rates.

Ethernet switches and compute platforms will be the fastest growing at 20.9 percent and 12.4 percent, respectively, while spending on storage platforms will grow 6.0 percent.

Investments in all three technologies will increase across all deployment models – public, private off-premises, and private on-premises clouds.