The global economy may still be in recovery mode, but the information technology and cloud computing markets continue to experience positive growth. Market research firm Gartner recently announced that organizations worldwide will spend $3.6 trillion for IT solutions in 2012, a 3 percent increase from last year.
"While the challenges facing global economic growth persist – the eurozone crisis, weaker U.S. recovery, a slowdown in China – the outlook has at least stabilized," said Richard Gordon, Gartner research vice president. "There has been little change in either business confidence or consumer sentiment in the past quarter, so the short-term outlook is for continued caution in IT spending."
The public cloud services forecast is even brighter, according to Gartner. In 2012, businesses worldwide will allocate $109 billion for the cloud, up from $91 billion in 2011. By 2016, this figure will surpass $200 billion.
Gordon added that Business Process-as-a-Service (BPaaS) accounts for a large majority of cloud expenditures, while spending for Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) is also growing.
Cloud, other IT solutions offer ideal ROI
One of the cloud's biggest advantages is that it helps companies lower overall operating costs in the long run. The technology's return on investment is also highly attractive for businesses looking for ways to enter a market quickly and add value to their operations.
A recent survey of more than 6,100 IT professionals by IT staffing firm TEKsystems and the Loyalty Research Group found that 55 percent said the cloud's ROI can be achieved in less than one year. Unified communications, which is benefiting from cloud technology, also returns value quickly, with 50 percent of respondents saying UC takes less than a year as well.
While many IT decision-makers believe they have the necessary knowledge available to make IT solution purchases, their employees have the experience and know which options work better than others.
"Many IT leaders and decision makers lack the line-level perspective around key IT initiatives, which is a necessity to ensure project success. Due to their proximity to the work itself, the IT workers on the line likely have more practical ideas around solutions that can improve strategy development and project execution," noted TEKsystems director Rachel Russell.