IaaS emerges as fastest-growing sector of the global public cloud market


Gartner is cautioning IT buyers against rushing into cloud infrastructure deployments, as the hyperscale providers continue to tighten their hold on the market in the years to come.

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is the fastest-growing segment of the wider cloud market, the IT analyst house confirmed, and is on course to grow by 35.9% this year to $40.8bn, as enterprises continue to wind down their on-premise IT deployments to do more in the cloud.

On the back of this trend, Gartner predicts the top 10 hyperscale cloud giants – including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft and Google – will see their share of the IaaS mark ramp up between now and 2021.

So much so, Gartner believes the top 10 providers will account for around 70% of the IaaS market by 2021, up from 50% in 2016, which could prove problematic for some enterprises.

“The increasing dominance of the hyperscale IaaS providers creates enormous opportunities and challenges for users and other market participants,” said Sid Nag, research director at Gartner.

“While it enables efficiencies and cost benefits, organisations need to be cautious about IaaS providers potentially gaining unchecked influence over customers and the market.”

Concerns of this nature have prompted some enterprises to consider taking a mix-and-match approach to their cloud deployments, whereby they run their applications and workloads across a number of different providers’ clouds.

With this in mind, customer expectations about how easy it should be to migrate workloads between different provider environments are rising, and suppliers need to be aware of that, Nag added.

“Organisations will increasingly demand a simpler way to move workloads, applications and data across cloud providers’ IaaS offerings without penalties,” he said.

While IaaS is the fastest-growing segment, the software-as-a-service (SaaS) part of the cloud market remains the largest, with the revenue generated by it set to hit $73.6bn this year, which is 22.2% up on 2017.

For a lot of enterprises, SaaS model has emerged as their preferred way to access software, prompting Gartner to predict that it will account for 45% of total application software spend by 2021.

“Now SaaS users are increasingly demanding more purpose-built offerings engineered to deliver specific business outcomes,” added Nag.

Overall, Gartner predicts the global public cloud services market will grow by 21.4% over the course of this year, buoyed by the growing demand for IaaS and SaaS deployments, and will be worth $186.4bn by the end of 2018.


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