Cloud

Public cloud services show no sign of slowing down, set to hit $236 billion by 2020, according to report

A new report from Forrester Research predicts 30% annual growth in the public cloud services market. Here are some of the top takeaways.


It's no secret that cloud adoption for the enterprise is a booming business. Mary Meeker's 2017 Internet Trends report predicted increases in both private and public cloud spending, and that it's positioned to catch up to spending on data centers, according to TechRepublic's Conner Forrest.

A recent report from Forrester, titled Forrester Data: Cloud Security Solutions Forecast, 2016 To 2021 (Global), supports these claims. According to the report, global cloud services revenues have grown by 30% over the last two years, from $68 to $114 billion in 2016—and the report predicts that the public cloud services market will reach $236 billion by 2020.

SEE: Learn Cloud Computing From Scratch (TechRepublic Academy)

With increased spending on cloud services also comes increased concerns over securing data. Forrester research found more than 50% of security leaders expressing concerns over SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, and virtualization in the data center. And according to a blog post by Forrester analyst Jennifer Adams, "traditional perimeter-based security tools do little to protect cloud workloads." Also, monitoring data across multiple cloud platforms and products simultaneously is a challenge, as is cross-platform security.

Along those lines, Forrester predicts a spike in cloud security spending over the next five years. By 2021, the research firm expects cloud security spending to reach $3.5 billion, up from $1 billion in 2016—a growth rate of 28%. The report examined four aspects of cloud security: Cloud security gateways; centralized cloud security management; hypervisor security; and native infrastructure-as-a-service/platform-as-a-service security.

Daniel Kennedy, research director of information security at 451 Research, sees an "increased sophistication in the handling of security surrounding the cloud and a lowering of overall security manager concern in correlation with cloud platform familiarity." Still, Kennedy expects growth of "around 21% in the next 12 months, with around 28% of that being allocated to securing hosted solutions (managed services, public and hosted private cloud, SaaS)."

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Image: Forrester

Another important piece of Forrester's report is the role of vendors in the cloud space. While the major players in the cloud—Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and IBM—continue to dominate, the report shows that cloud security spending is a prime target for new vendors, citing the fact that bigger vendors are "quickly entering and consolidating the space via acquisitions." Some examples are the acquisition of Perspecsys and Elastica by Blue Coat in 2015, followed by Symantec's acquisition of Blue Coat in 2016. Also, the purchase of Voltage by HPE, the purchase of Adallom (for $320 million) by Microsoft, and Cisco's purchase of CloudLock.

Cloud experts predict growth in the PaaS realm. "For ten years, cloud companies focused on getting companies to purchase IaaS," said Maribel Lopez, strategic advisor at Lopez Research. "Today, cloud providers are delivering more value in the PaaS area to help people build new mobile-cloud ready apps as well as cybersecurity services that will help companies secure everything from devices to network and cloud-resident services."

"As companies put more data into the cloud," said Lopez, "developing a richer set of services as a way to manage and secure corporate data has become a critical set of features and services for cloud providers. The cybersecurity market is the toughest market to crack but has tremendous opportunity."

While it is clear that the cloud is showing signs of huge growth, it has still not quite caught up with the use of data centers. According to a TechRepublic CIO jury, 100% of the tech leaders surveyed still run on-premise data centers, although many cited plans to move more services to the cloud.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. New Forrester research predicts a huge growth in cloud spending, forecasting global cloud service revenue to reach $236 billion by 2020.
  2. An increase in cloud spending also translates into an increase in cloud security solutions. Forrester predicts cloud security spending to reach $3.5 billion, up from $1 billion in 2016—a growth rate of 28%
  3. New vendors are beginning to flock to the cloud, seeing opportunities for being acquired by larger companies like Symantec, Cisco, and Microsoft.

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About Hope Reese

Hope Reese is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. She covers the intersection of technology and society, examining the people and ideas that transform how we live today.

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