New data from IDC's Cloud Services Forecast shows that cloud services will outpace traditional IT spending over the next five years and will represent $44.2 billion, or roughly 10 percent, of all IT spending by 2013.
However, the missing link in this data set is that these numbers account only for IDC's cloud services taxonomy (Application Software, Application Development and Deployment Software, Systems Infrastructure Software, and Server and Disk Storage capacity) and don't represent private clouds.
Private clouds--or at least internal enterprise applications that use the same principles--will undoubtedly become a major trend over the next five years. In addition to the cost savings of using existing compute power, the ease of use of cloud APIs will work their way into the enterprise quickly, now that developers are comfortable with public cloud services like Amazon S3 and EC2.
If public cloud services will be 10 percent of all IT money spent, that represents a blisteringly fast growth rate. And while we certainly don't wish the recession to continue, it's interesting to see how companies have adapted their IT plans to take advantage of services that require far less capital expenditure. From IDC:
The five-year growth outlook remains strong, with a five-year annual growth rate of 26 percent--over six times the rate of traditional IT offerings. In spite of the challenging economy--or more accurately, because of it--this growth rate advantage expanded from last year's forecast, in which cloud services were forecast to grow at over five times traditional offerings.
There is no question that cloud services are in their infancy and that the market is ripe for further disruption. The challenge going forward will be to accurately measure just what applications and services are internal, external, cloud, or otherwise.
In the meantime, let's all just be glad to see IT spending on the rise.