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Report: Public cloud to exceed $43 billion by 2016

The public cloud computing market is forecast to experience steady progress in the coming years. A new report by IDC estimated that the public cloud services revenue will expand at a compound annual growth rate of more than 18 percent through 2016, increasing from $18.5 billion in 2011 to $43.2 billion in 2016.

"According to our research, the three verticals that accounted for more than 50 percent of the spending in 2011 are discrete manufacturing, professional services and process manufacturing," said Eileen Smith, program manager in IDC's Global Technology and Industry Research Organization. "This is not surprising as these industries are typically less risk averse and compliance focused."

Since the public cloud has been somewhat controversial with its ability to keep sensitive information protected, some industries choose to adopt the private cloud instead. In doing so, executives can have more control over the virtual environment and implement robust security solutions to safeguard mission-critical applications.

The public cloud, on the other hand, is highly scalable and cost effective, enabling companies of all sizes to migrate substantial volumes of data to the hosted structures without worrying about bandwidth or traffic problems.

What segments of the public cloud grow the fastest?
As companies race to implement the cloud, it will be framework services that expand the most quickly. IDC noted that the market is forecast to expand at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 20 percent through 2016. In 2011, spending on public cloud only accounted for slightly more than 12 percent of cloud spending and will steadily climb through 2016.

"Communications and media, education and construction were found to be the fastest growing verticals," Smith said. "We expect the media portion of the communications and media vertical to continue to be one of the main users of storage on demand to enable continuous service for content-heavy customer offerings."

A separate report by Gartner echoed the growing public cloud market, predicting it will generate more than $109 billion in revenue in 2012, a 19.6 percent increase from last year.

As the private sector continues to move away from on-site computing, the public cloud will garner significant attention and awareness as businesses of all sizes adopt the technology to leverage a more scalable infrastructure capable of supporting long-term growth.

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