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Analysts predict 500 million cloud subscribers by 2013

06 Sep 2012
Cloud Computing Security

The total number of subscriptions to cloud-based storage services is set to reach more than half a billion by the end of the year, say analysts.

Research firm IHS said that over the coming year, cloud storage use will expand by 25 per cent and by 2017 some 1.3 billion users will subscribe to some sort of cloud storage platform.

The company noted that the growing market, which ranges from enterprise providers such as Amazon to Apple's consumer-oriented iCloud, is giving users a wider range of service options to chose from.

Analysts see a specific opportunity for wireless service providers to enter the market. IHS noted that by targeting customers with offers of cloud-based storage, carriers could help to bolster consumer interest in their other services.

"With companies casting about for new viable business models in order to monetise data traffic, cloud-based services could help lead firms into the next revolution of the wireless industry - or at least remain pertinent in the new mobile broadband paradigm," said IHS director for consumer and communications Jagdish Rebello.

"However, providing cloud services is not profitable as a standalone service, challenging companies to identify value-added services that could generate revenue."

While consumer-focused cloud storage is poised to take off in the coming years, the enterprise space remains challenging for service providers. Analysts have noted that ongoing concerns over both performance and data security are keeping many firms from taking their data off of the local network and into the cloud.

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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