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Many experts predict that cloud services are going to see a dramatic surge in popularity over the next decade, which will mostly be driven by demand for cost-effective solutions and flexibility. In its 2011 report on cloud computing, Gartner predicted that cloud services will become mainstream by 2021 and instead of cloud computing, they will only be referred to as computing. Moreover, it expects that IT will become a function of the business.

There are various reports that have tried to look into the future and analyse the most likely developments of the global IT industry, including cloud computing. They all seem to agree on several key topics. Market research experts Gartner, Forrester and Ovum all agree that cloud will be at the center of technological progress and their opinion is backed by IDC and by IBM itself. In particular, reports see the vast potential of public cloud services and Platform-as-a-Service, which are set to play a major role over the next ten years, along with mobile devices, applications and social media.

It is expected that adoption of cloud services will rapidly increase in the short- to mid-term. In 2011, a survey by IBM revealed that 72% of businesses were at some stage of cloud adoption — already implemented, adopting or piloting, but 91% of respondents had plans to use cloud by 2014.