Global IT spending on cloud and cloud-related products will hit $1tn by 2020, according to figures from Gartner, underlining the shift to the cloud taking place in organisations of all types.
Gartner explained that this push will increase in the coming years as companies adopt cloud-first strategies to help with digital transformation initiatives that require the ability to be agile and respond quickly to new and emerging opportunities.
"Cloud-first strategies are the foundation for staying relevant in a fast-paced world," said Ed Anderson, a research vice president at Gartner.
"The market for cloud services has grown to such an extent that it is now a notable percentage of total IT spending, helping to create a new generation of startups and born-in-the-cloud providers."
Anderson added that as part of this push firms will increasingly spend in other ways that directly benefit a transformation, such as improved networking or storage capabilities.
"Cloud shift is not just about cloud. As organisations pursue a new IT architecture and operating philosophy they become prepared for new opportunities in digital business, including next-generation IT solutions such as the Internet of Things," he said.
"Furthermore, organisations embracing dynamic, cloud-based operating models position themselves better for cost optimisation and increased competitiveness."
The impact of the cloud and its role in digital transformation strategies will be a key theme of the upcoming Computing Cloud and Infrastructure Summit on 20 September during which high-profile IT end-users will discuss their cloud strategies.
The move to the cloud is boosting revenue for vendors like Microsoft. The firm's Azure platform enjoyed sizeable growth over the past 12 months, as revealed by the company's latest quarterly financials.
Angelo Di Ventura, director at IT service provider Trustmarque, suggested that the Gartner data is no surprise given the ongoing shift to the cloud, but warned that it raises challenges that need consideration.
"The transition from an internet-enabled business to a digital business running in the cloud represents a huge jump for the majority of IT departments, whose existing infrastructure is designed for ‘business as usual’ operations," he said.
"Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all model when it comes to making cloud work for a business."
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