Gartner’s latest outlook predicts cloud computing will achieve annual growth of 48.7 per cent by the end of 2012
Businesses have been outsourcing their IT operations ever since the advantages of remote hosting and backing up files online allowed for the virtual storing and processing of data.
And as services go from strength to strength, a recent forecast from Gartner has revealed that the cloud computing industry is on track to achieve an impressive annual growth of 48.7 per cent by the end of 2012.
With the cloud segment of the outsourcing market expected to reach $5 billion (£3.2 billion) this year – up from $3.4 billion (£2.2 billion) in 2011 – it seems that companies are being increasingly drawn to the benefits of such services.
But if cloud computing is to continue its impressive performance and achieve further growth in the future, Gartner’s research director, Gregor Petri, believes that a number of security fears will have to be allayed.
"Continued privacy and compliance concerns may however negatively impact growth in some regions, especially if providers are slow in bringing localised solutions to market," he said.
Indeed, in order for companies to step up their adoption of outsourcing services and implement cloud networks, much emphasis will be placed on the security credentials of the services.
With particularly costly financial and reputational consequences sometimes resulting from breaks in service and data breaches, it could be that managers still approach the cloud with an air of caution.
Yet should the services be able to combine effective file sharing capabilities with sufficient protection of sensitive information, cloud computing may well continue its rapid growth in future years.
While it remains to be seen whether or not cloud services will realise their potential, the growth in the industry is part of the wider trend in moving physical files into the virtual world, and many firms already choose to do this with document scanning practices as they make the transition.