Yes we know there was a time when a cloud was something that floated through the sky and tablets were something you swallowed when you had the sniffles. There was also a time when we thought the sun went round the earth.
The point is, the cloud isn’t an abstract concept anymore and hasn’t been for some time. The cloud services market is already worth billions of dollars and is growing all the time.
According to networking specialist Cisco, global data centre traffic will grow four-fold and reach a total of 6.6 zettabytes annually by 2016. For a bit of context, that’s 92-trillion hours of streaming music, 16-trillion hours of business web conferencing, or seven-trillion hours of online high-definition (HD) video streaming.
Over the next few years most of that growth is set to come from the Middle East and Africa. Small wonder then that leading tech research company Gartner reckons that cloud services in the Middle East and Northern Africa region will grow to become a US$462.3-million market this year.
This, it says, represents a 24.5% increase from 2012, and faster growth than the 17.7% the global market will experience as a whole.
“Cloud services spending continues to outpace other parts of the IT marketplace,” says Gartner research director Ed Anderson. “Worldwide, spending on cloud services will grow 17.7% through 2016. In the Middle East and North Africa region, growth is expected to be even higher… Although there are some variations between cloud services segments, overall the outlook is very positive.
Business process services (also known as business process as a service, or BPaaS) is currently the largest segment in the cloud services market, as it accounted for approximately 38% of the total Middle East and Northern Africa market in 2012. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS) will continue as the high-growth sectors of the cloud service market through 2016. Cloud management and security services will also exhibit strong growth through 2016.
Within the region, some of the highest growth will be in the SaaS segment, where cloud-based office suites and enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions will grow rapidly. Growth is SaaS will be supported by strong growth in cloud application infrastructure services, or PaaS. Overall, the PaaS marketplace will exceed US$46-million by 2016 to support a SaaS marketplace of US$211-million that same year.
On a global level cloud advertising will continue as the single largest source of spending within the cloud services marketplace. This market will grow from US$56.6-billion in 2012 to US$192-billion in 2016. According to Gartner, cloud advertising will be fed by strong performance of cloud advertising giant Google, and real-time mobile ad exchange newcomers such as Mobclix.