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Research shows boom ahead for cloud computing

Cloud computing has been the most exciting and disruptive force in the tech market in the last decade, and it's no longer an adjunct technology bolted onto a traditional infrastructure as a place to build a few customer-facing apps. The Forrester research firm predicts that it will continue to disrupt traditional computing models at least through 2020.

Cloud applications such as software-as-service (SaaS), business services and platforms like infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) now drive a full spectrum of end-to-end enterprise transformation.

The global public cloud market will be $146 billion in 2017, up from just $87 billion in 2015, and is growing faster than we predicted just two years ago, at a 22 percent compound annual growth rate.

In a recent Forrester survey, 77 percent of Chinese enterprise infrastructure decision-makers said that using a public cloud platform is a high or critical priority over the next 12 months, versus 58 percent of their global peers.

Earlier this year, Forrester forecast that the public cloud market in China will increase from $1.8 billion in 2015 to $3.8 billion in 2020.

In addition, 51 percent of decision-makers in China plan to adopt private cloud solutions - even higher than the adoption rate of public cloud.

Cloud platforms from the global megacloud providers will set the pace, accelerating adoption of private cloud and hosted private cloud as well. In 2017, chief information officers will need to:

Get their private cloud and SaaS strategy in shape.

Educate themselves about exciting developments in hyperconverged infrastructure, security, networking and containers.

Take a fresh look at their regional and industry-specific cloud providers.

Closer to home, in 2017, Forrester believes that visionary Chinese firms will become leaders in several areas and help accelerate cloud maturity and adoption.

Forrester's top 10 predictions

Forrester predicts the 10 factors that will shape enterprise cloud computing next year:

1. Beyond pay-per-use, buyers will save money in cloud in many ways.

2. Hyperconverged infrastructure will help private clouds to get real.

3. Size still matters, but the megaclouds won't be your only option.

4. Lift-and-shift tools will improve to make cloud migration easier.

5. Hybrid cloud networking will remain the weak link in hybrid cloud.

6. Enterprises will shun large, complex, and costly private cloud software suites.

7. SaaS will move away from one-size-fits-all to regional and industry solutions.

8. Chinese firms will be key drivers of global cloud evolution.

9. Containers everywhere will shake up cloud platform and management strategies.

10. Cloud service providers will design security into their offerings.

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