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STAMFORD, Conn. November 17, 2020

Gartner Forecasts Worldwide Public Cloud End-User Spending to Grow 18% in 2021

Proportion of Enterprise IT Spending on Public Cloud Computing Continues to Increase

Worldwide end-user spending on public cloud services is forecast to grow 18.4% in 2021 to total $304.9 billion, up from $257.5 billion in 2020, according to Gartner, Inc.

“The pandemic validated cloud’s value proposition,” said Sid Nag, research vice president at Gartner. “The ability to use on-demand, scalable cloud models to achieve cost efficiency and business continuity is providing the impetus for organizations to rapidly accelerate their digital business transformation plans. The increased use of public cloud services has reinforced cloud adoption to be the ‘new normal,’ now more than ever.”

The proportion of IT spending that is shifting to cloud will accelerate in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis, with cloud projected to make up 14.2% of the total global enterprise IT spending market in 2024, up from 9.1% in 2020.

Although software as a service (SaaS) remains the largest market segment and is forecast to grow to $117.7 billion in 2021, application infrastructure services (PaaS) is anticipated to grow by a higher margin at 26.6% (see Table 1). The increased consumption of PaaS is driven by the need for remote workers to have access to high performing, content-rich and scalable infrastructure to perform their duties, which largely comes in the form of modernized and cloud-native applications.

Table 1. Worldwide Public Cloud Services End-User Spending Forecast (Millions of U.S. Dollars)

 

2019

2020

2021

2022

Cloud Business Process Services (BPaaS)

45,212

44,741

47,521

50,336

Cloud Application Infrastructure Services (PaaS)

37,512

43,823

55,486

68,964

Cloud Application Services (SaaS)

102,064

101,480

117,773

138,261

Cloud Management and Security Services

12,836

14,880

17,001

19,934

Cloud System Infrastructure Services (IaaS)

44,457

51,421

65,264

82,225

Desktop as a Service (DaaS)

616

1,204

1,945

2,542

Total Market

242,696

257,549

304,990

362,263

BPaaS = business process as a service; IaaS = infrastructure as a service; PaaS = platform as a service; SaaS = software as a service
Note: Totals may not add up due to rounding.

Source: Gartner (November 2020)

“The COVID-19 pandemic forced organizations to quickly focus on three priorities: preserve cash and optimize IT costs, support and secure a remote workforce, and ensure resiliency,” said Mr. Nag. “Investing in cloud became a convenient means to address all three of these needs.”

In fact, recent Gartner survey data indicates that almost 70% of organizations using cloud services today plan to increase their cloud spending in the wake of the disruption caused by COVID-19.

As enterprises increase investments in mobility, collaboration, and other remote working technologies and infrastructure, Gartner expects growth in public cloud to be sustained through 2024. The rising trend of cloud service providers partnering with telecommunications companies to extend their reach into the edge and support a hybrid workforce may also lead to further market growth.

“As CIOs think more strategically about how to lay the foundations to support a return to growth, it is clear that the move to digital and associated services will play a big role for organizations in the future,” said Mr. Nag. “Cloud adoption therefore becomes a significant means to stay ahead in a post-COVID-19 world focused on agility and digital touchpoints.”

Gartner clients can read more in the report "Forecast: Public Cloud Services, Worldwide, 2018-2024, 3Q20 Update." Learn more about how to Reset your business strategy section on gartner.com. Complimentary research, insights and webinars are offered to help leaders build resilience on their path to business recovery.

Learn more about how to lead organizations through the disruption of coronavirus in the Gartner coronavirus resource center, a collection of complimentary Gartner research and webinars to help organizations respond, manage and prepare for the rapid spread and global impact of COVID-19.

Gartner IT Infrastructure, Operations & Cloud Strategies Conference

Gartner analysts will provide additional analysis on cloud strategies and infrastructure and operations trends at the Gartner IT Infrastructure, Operations & Cloud Strategies Conference taking place virtually December 7-10 in the Americas and EMEA. Follow news and updates from these conferences on Twitter using #GartnerIO.

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world’s leading research and advisory company and a member of the S&P 500. We equip business leaders with indispensable insights, advice and tools to achieve their mission-critical priorities today and build the successful organizations of tomorrow.

Our unmatched combination of expert-led, practitioner-sourced and data-driven research steers clients toward the right decisions on the issues that matter most. We are a trusted advisor and an objective resource for more than 14,000 enterprises in more than 100 countries — across all major functions, in every industry and enterprise size.

To learn more about how we help decision makers fuel the future of business, visit gartner.com.

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