Most enterprises plan to boost cloud use this year

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Companies are increasingly turning to private and hybrid clouds

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The cloud market shows no signs of slowing down, with 90% of enterprises planning to maintain or boost spending on cloud computing this year, according to a survey from Washington, D.C.-based research firm Clutch.

The majority of enterprises in the U.S. said they would increase cloud spending in 2016, with 42% eyeing increases of between 11% and 30% and 14% looking to boost cloud spending by 31% to 50%. Another 7% plan to increase spending by more than 50%.

Those increases are consistent with numbers from 2015, according to Alex Miller, an analyst with Clutch.

"Businesses are continuing to expand into cloud services and operations," Miller told Computerworld. "More and more companies are either moving to the cloud or moving more operations to it. I think this will be a big year for the cloud and that should be the same for 2017."

Clutch isn't alone in showing that the cloud market remains strong.

Worldwide spending on public cloud services alone are expected to grow at a 19.4% compound annual growth rate, according to a January report from analyst firm IDC. The report has the public cloud market rising from nearly $70 billion in 2015 to more than $141 billion in 2019.

That's nearly six times the growth rate of overall IT spending, IDC noted.

Analyst firm Garnter also predicts good things for the public cloud market this year. According to a January report from Gartner, the worldwide public cloud services market is expected to grow 16.5% this year to $204 billion. That would be up from $175 billion in 2015.

While Gartner and IDC didn't offer projections on the private cloud market ( ) or the hybrid market, Clutch predicts that those two segments will see the biggest growth from enterprises.

"Our data showed that private cloud is the largest mover for the enterprise, but there has been continued growth in hybrid and we think we'll continue to see this year more growth in hybrid," said Miller. "The primary usage [in the cloud] is file storage, which is the most simplistic use of the cloud. When organizations are moving to it, they're finding the simple uses. Now, they're expanding to other operations and other options...."

That expansion includes moving applications and services into both private and hybrid clouds.

Miller noted that after storage, back-up and disaster recovery services are the second-largest use of the cloud among the enterprises surveyed -- - and they're a close second. The third-largest cloud use was for application deployment.

The Clutch survey showed a close race between the top four cloud vendors: 23% are using Microsoft's cloud services; 22% are using AWS; 21% are with Google; and 17% are using IBM.

After that, 6% said they're using Oracle and 5% have tapped Citrix.

"I think this says there's a lot of opportunities for vendors to increase the features and functions they have available," said Miller. "There's such a tight race among the big vendors, but as enterprises see more opportunities in the cloud, there's room for smaller vendors to come in with functions and features that these organizations can switch over to."

The Clutch research surveyed about 300 decision makers in U.S. enterprises with more than 100 employees.

This story, "Most enterprises plan to boost cloud use this year" was originally published by Computerworld.

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