Nevertheless, other cloud services, including infrastructure-as-a-service and software-as-a-service, are multibillion-dollar markets in their own right. By Gartner's estimate, infrastructure-as-a-service will grow from $2.5 billion in 2008 to $3.2 billion in 2009, and SaaS is about double that with "strong growth." Combined, that puts the infrastructure-as-a-service and SaaS markets in the $10 billion range this year.
Gartner projects that the overall cloud services market will reach $150 billion in 2013, representing a 21% annual growth rate over five years. Gartner VP Ben Pring observes that, given the economy, the growth of many cloud services will be relatively modest over the next two years, but Gartner expects demand to accelerate as business improves and as cloud services "prove themselves."
There's some uncertainty in Gartner's crystal ball. Pring notes that IT trends over the next couple of years are "highly uncertain." And he singles out infrastrastructure-as-a-service as having "the largest range of possible outcomes," which signals that Gartner isn't sure how many developers and IT organizations are going to sign up for Amazon Web Services, Google's App Engine, Microsoft's Azure, and other such services.
With those caveats in mind, the worldwide cloud services market is on track to surpass $56 billion this year, Gartner says. Whether you call it cloud services, hype, or by another name, that's a lot of something, and it's growing fast.