Global public cloud revenues grew by more than a quarter in the first half of the year, according to the results of an IDC report.

The report from the International Data Corporation, titled the Worldwide Semiannual Public Cloud Services Tracker, found that compared to the same period last year, revenues from public cloud rose by 28.6% to $63.2 billion (approx. £48 billion).

IDC chief analyst and senior VP, Frank Gens, believes this is largely because businesses recognise that the majority of IT innovations are now launched in, and designed for, the cloud. Gens said: “The cloud has become the launchpad for virtually every new IT innovation in the last 24 months – including AI, blockchain, quantum computing and more.

“Organizations not on the public cloud will be increasingly isolated from the world of tech innovation.”

Across the three main public cloud segments – software-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service and infrastructure-as-a-service, the fastest growing area was PaaS – which currently holds the smallest market share. The opposite was true for SaaS, which currently has the highest market share at 68.7%, but grew at a relatively slow rate of 22.9% year on year.


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The massive growth in PaaS has been fuelled by container adoption, according to IDC PaaS research manager Larry Carvalho. “The rapid adoption of container technology in the PaaS segment has given developers additional tools to accelerate application development and deployment that is important in the enterprise digital transformation journey.

“All vendors are modifying their solutions to bring automation into the entire application lifecycle, and developers are rewarding such vendors with higher than average gains.”

Despite a slight slump in growth, the SaaS sector is not stalling by any measure. IDC researchers argue this is because having picked the ‘low-hanging fruit’ – that is, apps that were easy to migrate to the cloud, businesses are now looking to move larger systems, such as supply chain applications, into the cloud. The continuation of projects like this is likely to keep fuelling growth, argues IDC.

Geographically, the most startling growth can be seen in the Asia-Pacific region. The region as a whole blew the worldwide growth average out of the water, with a year on year growth rate of 38.9%. That, in turn, is trumped by a massive 55.6% increase in China.