IDC’s research on cloud services is unique in that it provides a rolled up view of the entire opportunity for IT cloud service provision. The different IDC reports present cloud service opportunities with segmentation by region, technology and vertical industry. The research reports complement each other and provide drilldown views of the impact of cloud services in different areas of business. It also dwells on cloud deployment related issues such as how quickly cloud services can be adopted and how it will impact vendor business models and service offerings. These reports also highlight customer benefits and challenges that surround the provisioning of the services.

The core research shows that cloud services are maturing, stabilizing and fast becoming the choice of small and medium enterprises. The statistics garnered indicate that revenues from cloud services exceeded $16 billion in 2009 and are expected to reach $55.5 billion by 2014. This projected annual growth rate is five times the annual growth rate projected for other traditional IT products.

IDC opines that the economic downturn and the need to cut down costs have attracted enterprises to consider cloud computing favorably. In Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) cloud computing has become the “key business accelerator” and cloud computing is being used for both simple and complex tasks. Business managers see value in procuring and consuming services and systems with agility. They are ready to eliminate technology from IT while they focus on their business.

IDC further predicts that many more services will be externally sourced in the future and the focal point of these services could well be the cloud. Developing economies in Asia are concentrating on analytics, mobility and cloud computing with specific reference to private clouds and concepts of business process outsourcing. A number of cloud service providers are emerging with hybrid cloud deployments and infrastructure as a service models to address the demands of this market segment.

However, IDC predicts that Cloud service providers must position themselves as leaders in the arena or they are likely to forfeit their share in the industry growth. They must gather key insights from existing cloud services and must step up their commitment to providing the customers with new technology or models.

Finally, IDC, advises, small and medium business to evaluate the maturing cloud computing models and understand the nature of cloud deployments. The underlying technology is important, but not more important than ensuring that the implementation is business centric and Cloud deployments should help the enterprise change the way they work.