Updates to this story
Cloud computing revenue in the US public sector is expected to grow by 21.6 percent over the next few years, according to the latest survey by International Data Corporation (IDC).
The report, entitled U.S. Public IT Cloud Services by Industry Sector: More Details on the Opportunity, shows that from 2009 to 2014 public cloud revenue in the US will grow significantly from $11.1 billion to $29.5 billion.
The main areas that will employ cloud computing are professional services, communications and media, and discrete and process manufacturing markets. Professional services will be the primary driver of growth, due to a large volume of small to medium size businesses that require software-as-a-service.
The report found that the services and distribution sector makes the most revenue for cloud computing and that it is expected to more than double from its current intake of $3 billion to $8.5 billion in 2014.
Currently applications make up a large portion of revenue in this area, amounting to half of cloud revenue in 2009. As the sector grows, however, it will become less dependant on this and its market share will drop to one third. At the same time, infrastructure software is expected to increase to provide 22 percent of revenue.
Some public sector areas will be restricted in how they can apply cloud services, due to additional regulations, privacy concerns and security fears. These mainly include government, banking and healthcare sectors, all of which will also have a severely curtailed budget due to cutbacks.
Despite this, the potential for healthcare is huge and IDC forecasts a compound annual growth rate of nearly 23 percent by 2014, which will see a healthy increase on its currently small five percent market share. Collaboration applications will be the primary area where cloud computing will be employed in healthcare.
While these figures apply to the public cloud sector, it's highly likely that the private cloud arena will see similar high growth over the next few years. A previous IDC report last year suggested that private cloud revenue would jump from $7.3 billion in 2009 to $11.8 billion in 2014, which is a slightly lower rate of growth than the public cloud, albeit still significant.