Public cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offerings are quickly gaining acceptance among enterprises as a viable alternative to on-premises hardware for IT infrastructure, according to a recent survey of more than 6,000 IT organizations by International Data Corp. (IDC).

Nearly two thirds of the respondents are either already using or planning to use public cloud IaaS by the end of 2016. IDC forecasts public cloud IaaS revenues to more than triple, from $12.6 billion in 2015 to $43.6 billion in 2020, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 28% over the five-year forecast period.

"Public cloud services are increasingly being seen as an enabler of business agility and speed," said Deepak Mohan, research director, Public Cloud Storage and Infrastructure at IDC. "This is bringing about a shift in IT infrastructure spending.”

Growth of public cloud IaaS has also created new service opportunities around adoption and usage of public cloud resources, Mohan said. With changes at the infrastructure, architectural, and operational layers, public cloud IaaS is slowly transforming enterprise IT, he said.

The public cloud IaaS market grew 51% in 2015, and IDC expects this high growth to continue through 2016 and 2017, with a CAGR of more than 41%. The growth rate is expected to slow after 2017 as enterprises shift from cloud exploration to cloud optimization.

In addition, alternatives such as managed private cloud will grow in maturity and availability, the firm said, providing IT organizations with more options as they plan their infrastructure transformation.

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