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Overcoming obstacles will push cloud market forward

The big data phenomenon, the emergence of social media in the workplace and the ongoing consumerization of IT are all contributing to the proliferation of cloud computing services in the public and private sectors. By planning ahead and using the cloud effectively, firms can enhance operations in and outside of the office without jeopardizing security, functionality or efficiency in any way. For this reason, organizations around the world continue to invest in the cloud.

A report by Gartner highlighted the ongoing expansion of the public cloud computing market, noting that it is forecast to generate approximately $131 billion in revenue in 2013. This is an 18.5 percent increase from 2012, when the industry accumulated $111 billion in revenue.

While the overall cloud market is on the rise, the individual components of the industry are experiencing varying levels of success. Analysts said the cloud advertising services market accounted for roughly 48 percent of the industry in 2012. This is largely because decision-makers are recognizing the power the cloud holds when it comes to incorporating big data into a broader range of business projects. Marketing in particular can experience significant improvements when the cloud and big data converge.

In addition to advertising services, cloud infrastructure and application segments are also gaining momentum, Gartner reported. This is because the cloud supports agile development and Dev Ops initiatives, giving companies the ability to reduce the time it takes to create and launch software. As a result, firms are able to gain a competitive advantage, eliminate expenses and improve operations.

"The continued growth of the cloud services market will result from the adoption of cloud services for production systems and workloads, in addition to the development and testing scenarios that have led as the most prominent use case for public cloud services to date," said Ed Anderson, research director at Gartner. "Evidence of this growth is found in the increasing demand for cloud services from end-user organizations, met by an increased supply of cloud services from suppliers."

Giving everyone an equal chance with the cloud
Because the cloud is still relatively new to many companies, decision-makers are still encountering challenges or are fearful to adopt the technology because of the perceived risks. If the private sector is to develop and progress in the coming years, however, these challenges need to be addressed and smothered, providing organizations of all sizes the ability to improve operations.

A recent KPMG report said firms are increasingly focusing on leveraging the cloud to deploy data-intrinsic applications to enhance customer service and overall operations. By using innovative replication software, developing robust usage policies and working with a trusted provider, companies will be able to overcome many of the obstacles currently holding back cloud implementation projects.

"While providers are seeing the challenges of a maturing, yet still relatively young market, we are at a pivotal point in the evolution of the cloud ecosystem as users become more comfortable with a variety of cloud applications," said Gary Matuszak, partner, global chair and U.S. leader of KPMG's technology, media and telecommunications practice. "Leading cloud providers know they must evolve to provide a new level of scale, capacity and capability."

By planning cloud deployments well in advance, executives can embrace the technology without worrying about any of the perceived risks associated with using the hosted solutions. As a result, the overall cloud market will continue to develop and decision-makers across the world will become more comfortable with it, allowing the global private sector to improve operations and efficiency.