Global spending on public cloud services is forecast to reach US$332.3 billion by the end of 2021, an increase of 23.1 per cent from a year ago, following a push for the technology driven by the coronavirus pandemic.
This is according to analyst firm Gartner, with research vice president Sid Nag claiming organisations around the world responded to COVID-19 by accelerating their adoption of cloud.
“The events of last year allowed CIOs to overcome any reluctance of moving mission critical workloads from on-premises to the cloud,” he said. “Even absent the pandemic there would still be a loss of appetite for data centres. “Emerging technologies such as containerisation, virtualisation and edge computing are becoming more mainstream and driving additional cloud spending. Simply put, the pandemic served as a multiplier for CIOs’ interest in the cloud.”
Software-as-a-service (SaaS) is expected to be the largest market segment within public cloud in 2021 at US$112.6 billion — just over a third of the overall spend — representing an increase of 19.3 per cent.
This is particularly significant as Gartner claimed that SaaS-based applications that enable essential tasks, like automation and supply chain, are critical in the current environment.
"Such applications continue to demonstrate reliability in scaling vaccine management, which in turn will help CIOs further validate the ongoing shift to cloud," the firm said.
Meanwhile, the desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) segment is anticipated to see the highest level of spending growth, at 67.7 per cent year-on-year, to US$2 billion. Expected to come in second is infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), with spending growth of 38.5 per cent year-on-year, to US$82 billion.
Nag also noted that the usage and adoption of cloud that occurred during the last 12 months is expected to differ in the future.
“It will further evolve from serving pedestrian use cases such as infrastructure and application migration, to those that combine cloud with technologies such as artificial intelligence, the internet of things, 5G and more,” he said.
“In other words, cloud will serve as the glue between many other technologies that CIOs want to use more of, allowing them to leapfrog into the next century as they address more complex and emerging use cases. It will be a disruptive market, to say the least.”