Worldwide spending on public IT cloud services will reach $47.4 billion this year and is expected to be more than $107 billion in 2017, according to a new forecast from International Data Corporation (IDC).

Over the 2013 to 2017 period, public IT cloud services will have a compound annual growth rate of 24 percent, five times that of the IT industry as a whole, according to the research firm’s report, “Worldwide and Regional Public IT Cloud Services, 2013-2017 Forecast.”

Cloud computing has played a crucial role in changing the way organizations use IT, IDC says. Now, there are signs that cloud services are starting to shift into a "Chapter Two" phase where the scale of cloud adoption will be much bigger and more user and solution driven, the firm says. In this phase of growth, cloud computing — along with mobile, social media and big data — will become even more interdependent.

"The first wave of cloud services adoption was focused on improving the efficiency of the IT department," Frank Gens, senior vice president and chief analyst at IDC, said in a statement. "Over the next several years, the primary driver for cloud adoption will shift from economics to innovation as leading-edge companies invest in cloud services as the foundation for new competitive offerings.”

The emergence of cloud as the core for new “business-as-a-service” offerings will accelerate cloud adoption and dramatically raise the cloud model's strategic value beyond CIOs to CXOs of all types. Gens said.

An important factor driving growth in public IT cloud services spending is the expanding variety of cloud deployment options, according to IDC. The growing richness of these options is a clear accelerator for overall cloud services adoption.

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