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Public cloud spending to hit $107 billion in 2017, IDC finds

Cloud spending is expected to rise considerably during the next few years.

The public cloud is gaining prominence quickly and is beginning to play a dominant role in the broader IT landscape. A recent IDC study found that the technology is positioned to experience annual revenue expansion at a compound annual growth rate of 23.5 percent for the period of 2013 to 2017. As a result, the $47.4 billion in annual public cloud revenues for 2013 will climb to $107 billion in 2017.

According to the study, the cloud is beginning to progress toward a second wave of maturation that could end up playing a major role in the technology's development. While cloud hosting has been popular, the technology will not only become dominant, it will be used in ways that are driven by a new focus on users and solutions. The end result is an environment in which cloud, mobile, social and big data solutions become more interwoven with one another. 

Overarching cloud progression
The financial statistics supporting cloud growth are impressive, as is the technology's general maturation. What may be even more telling, however, is how cloud spending is increasing compared to other aspects of IT investments. The news source explained that the CAGR associated with cloud investments during the 2013-2017 period will be five-times greater than that of traditional IT spending, pointing to the expanding role of cloud computing in general.

Frank Gens, senior vice president and chief analyst at IDC, explained that innovation is becoming a central component of cloud strategies.

"The first wave of cloud services adoption was focused on improving the efficiency of the IT department," said Gens. "Over the next several years, the primary driver for cloud adoption will shift from economics to innovation as leading-edge companies invest in cloud services as the foundation for new competitive offerings. The emergence of cloud as the core for new 'business as a service' offerings will accelerate cloud adoption and dramatically raise the cloud model's strategic value beyond CIOs to CXOs of all types."

Taking full advantage of cloud maturation
Cloud servers are increasingly available in a variety of forms, and organizations that want to maximize the value of the technology need to understand all of their options. One emerging cloud solution that IT managers may want to familiarize themselves with is the bare metal cloud. These solutions eliminate the virtualization layer of the cloud to offer a solution similar to dedicated hosting models, giving companies high-performance functionality without sacrificing scalability and flexibility.