IDC forecasts global spending on public cloud services to hit $160bn in 2018

Global spending on public cloud services is forecast to hit $160 billion in 2018 at an increase of 23.2% the previous year, according to figures from IDC.

Software as a service (SaaS) will remain the largest cloud category with almost two thirds of all public cloud spending this year, followed by infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS). Of the SaaS spend, applications purchases will dominate the segment, with CRM and enterprise resource management (ERM) apps seeing the most spending.

IaaS spending will be ‘fairly balanced’ through the coming year with servers just ahead of storage, IDC added, while PaaS spending will be led by data management software purchases, ahead of app platforms, integration and orchestration middleware, and data access, analysis and delivery applications.

Not surprisingly, the US will comprise the largest market for public cloud services, with $97 billion – more than 60% of the overall total – with the UK ($7.9bn) just ahead of Germany ($7.4bn) for Western Europe. Japan and China lead the way for Asia and complete the top five, with spending of $5.8bn and $5.4bn respectively.

For the US, the industries that will spend the most on public cloud services this year are discrete manufacturing, professional services, and banking. According to Eileen Smith, program director of customer insights and analysis, this makes for an interesting comparison. “The industries that are spending the most are the ones that have come to recognise the tremendous benefits that can be gained from public cloud services,” said Smith.

“Organisations within these industries are leveraging public cloud services to quickly develop and launch third platform solutions, such as big data and analytics and the Internet of Things, that will enhance and optimise the customer’s journey and lower operational costs.”

According to figures issued by Synergy Research earlier this month, the global cloud computing market is at $180bn in vendor revenues, with IaaS and PaaS – put into the same bucket for the purposes of the analysis – the fastest-growing sector.