Back To The Future – Revisiting 2011’s Predictions

Back to the Future – Revisiting 2011’s Predictions


Back in January 2011 we published an article that summarised predictions made by various research companies about the future of cloud computing. Three years on, we look back at some of the figures from that article and assess the accuracy of the predictions – has cloud computing grown faster or slower than expectations?

1. 2011 Prediction:  

By 2014 businesses in the United States will be spending more than $13 billion per year on cloud computing.

2014 Reality: 

Precise spending figures are difficult to locate, but the available data allows us to make good estimations – and the 2011 prediction appears low. The latest forecasts by research firm IDC show global spending on the cloud will exceed $100 Billion by the end of 2014, with North America accounting for 59% of new spending. North America also generates the most cloud traffic (469 exabytes annually), and Cisco now expects 2014 to be the first year where more work will be carried out in the cloud (51 percent) than in a traditional IT workspace.

Good Guess or Poor Prediction? Poor Prediction

2. 2011 Prediction: 

SaaS spending is expected to grow 112 percent annually from 2011 to 2014.

2014 Reality:

This appears more accurate than the first prediction. Gartner’s market analysis report on cloud services predicts that IaaS will have a compound annual growth rate of 41.3% between 2012 and 2016, comfortably making it the fastest growing area of public cloud computing.

Good Guess or Poor Prediction? Good Guess 

3. 2011 Prediction:

IaaS spending will approach $4 billion by 2014.

2014 Reality:

Direct figures for 2014 are not available, but Gartner used the same report to highlight that they believe spending on IaaS will surpass $72 billion by 2016 – making $4 billion in 2014 seem remarkably low.

Good Guess or Poor Prediction? Poor Prediction

4. 2011 Prediction: 

Cloud computing revenues will touch $16.7 billion by 2015.

2014 Reality:

This prediction appears accurate. The total cloud computing market hit $2.5 billion in revenue in Q3 of 2013, up 46% the same quarter of 2012. Amazon alone increased its revenues by 55 percent and is estimated to have made at least $3 billion from its cloud in 2013, while its competitor IBM made $1 billion revenue in Q3 alone (owing largely to its purchase of website hosting company SoftLayer in 2012). With the latest forecasts by 451 Research now projecting cloud computing revenues to be $20 billion by the end of 2016, the prediction of $16.7 billion in 2015 looks realistic.

Good Guess or Poor Prediction? Good Guess

Where do you think the cloud will be in another three years? Let us know in the comments below.

By Daniel Price

About Daniel Price

Daniel is a Manchester-born UK native who has abandoned cold and wet Northern Europe and currently lives on the Caribbean coast of Mexico. A former Financial Consultant, he now balances his time between writing articles for several industry-leading tech ( &, sports, and travel sites and looking after his three dogs.

View Website

Comments are closed.