Quantification overlord Gartner is at the meteorological act again, forecasting that the public cloud services (PCS) market will boast a total worldwide value of nearly $110 billion (£67bn) by the end of 2012, on the back of overall growth of nearly 20 per cent.
As cloud adoption continues to accelerate, business process services (BPaaS) - which includes cloud-based advertising - will represent the industry's largest segment, accounting for about 77 per cent of the PCS market and growing to over $84 billion (£52bn) in 2012, up from $72 billion (£44bn) in 2011.
Software as a service (SaaS) will be the second biggest cloud sector, with a total predicted global value of $14 billion (£8.6bn), while infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is predicted to establish itself as the fastest grower, increasing by some 45 per cent to a cumulative worth of more than $6 billion (£3.6bn). If the IaaS market enjoys similar expansion patterns in the coming years, it is line to equal the size of the SaaS sector around 2016, Gartner ventured.
"The cloud services market is clearly a high-growth sector within the overall IT marketplace," said Ed Anderson, research director at Gartner, in a statement.
"The key to taking advantage of this growth will be understanding the nuances of the opportunity within service segments and geographic regions, and then prioritising investments in line with the opportunities," he added.
Moreover, as part of its latest forecast, Gartner has recognised a new segment in the PCS market – cloud managment and security services, currently valued at over $3 billion (£1.8bn).
According to cloud security services insiders, it's another segment that should enjoy considerable growth in the near future.
"As the cloud grows to a mammoth scale, cloud management and security services will naturally grow to match. This is in part due to the technology involved: virtualisation, as well as being the enabler for the cloud, has also provided more and better ways to manage, protect and recover data," said Ratmir Timashev, CEO of virtualisation specialist Veeam Software.
"For example, data can be protected faster; in more depth; and with more flexibility than ever before. These advances in turn grant organisations a level of protection they couldn't previously afford," Mr Timashev continued.
Overall, Garnter's recent cloud report noted strong growth in North America and emerging markets like India and China, with Western Europe forecast to experience the slowest growth due to the ongoing Eurozone economic crisis.