Information Technology (IT) spending growth was moderate last year, according to most industry analyst assessments. Regardless, senior executives continued to approve the strategic investment in digital transformation projects. Worldwide, the cloud computing sector blossomed in 2014.
The combined total of all cloud computing IT infrastructure spending -- server, disk storage, and ethernet switch -- grew by 14.4 percent year-over-year to $8 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014 (4Q14), accounting for 30 percent of all IT infrastructure spending, that's up from about 27 percent the prior year.
Private cloud infrastructure spending grew by 18.3 percent year over year to $2.9 billion, while public cloud infrastructure spending grew to $5.0 billion -- that's 12.3 percent higher than one year ago, according to the latest market study by International Data Corporation (IDC).
Meanwhile, for the full year of 2014, cloud IT infrastructure spending totaled $26.4 billion, that's up 18.7 percent year-over-year from $22.3 billion. Private cloud spending was just under $10.0 billion, up 20.7 percent year-over-year, while public cloud spending was $16.5 billion, that's up 17.5 percent year-over-year.
"The transition to cloud-oriented infrastructure and data platform architectures within the enterprise data center continues to accelerate, yet the expansion of public cloud infrastructure in service providers' data centers around the world is an even larger driver of IT spending," said Richard Villars,vice president at IDC.
A key driver of this acceleration is the growing development and use of new Internet of Things (IoT) services that require levels of agility and scale that only cloud computing solutions can deliver.
Regional Market Development Assessment
For this second quarterly release of Cloud IT market results, IDC has expanded its worldwide coverage to include detail for eight regions: Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan), Canada, Central & Eastern Europe, Japan, Latin America, Middle East & Africa, USA, and Western Europe.
In 4Q14, the United States had the highest share of cloud IT infrastructure spending with 64 percent, followed by Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) with 17 percent and Western Europe with 12 percent.
Overall, Western Europe had the highest growth in cloud IT infrastructure spending, with 30 percent year-over-year growth in 2014.
IDC defines all cloud services through a checklist of key attributes that an offering must manifest to the end-users of a service. Public cloud services are shared among unrelated enterprises. The public cloud market includes a variety of services designed to extend or replace IT infrastructure deployed in traditional corporate data centers.