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Infrastructure as a service tipped by Gartner to be fastest growing part of public cloud in 2016

Cloud infrastructure services will experience fastest growth in 2016, as enterprises move to shift more of their datacentre investments off-premise

The infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) sector of the public cloud market is forecast to experience the fastest growth in 2016, as enterprises continue to shift their datacentre assets off-premise.

That's according to Gartner's latest public cloud growth projections, which suggest the overall market is set to grow by 16.5% and will be worth $203.9bn by the end of 2016.

The IaaS market is on course to account for around $22.4bn of this, and will -- according to Gartner -- grow by around 38.4% in 2016.

While other parts of the public cloud market are currently worth more than the IaaS sector, Gartner predicts the growth of the latter will outperform all other areas of the market this year.

Sid Nag, research director at Gartner, attributed this trend to the fact that more enterprises are looking to wind down their datacentre investments, as part of a wider push to cut their overall IT spend.

"IaaS continues to be the strongest-growing segment as enterprises move away from datacentre build-outs and move their infrastructure needs to the public cloud," he said.

"Certain market leaders have built a significant lead in this segment, so providers should focus on creating differentiation for success."

Public cloud demand soars

The IT analyst house said the demand for public cloud services shows no immediate signs of abating, with companies increasingly turning to off-premise technologies to achieve their business agility goals.

"The market for public cloud services is continuing to demonstrate high rates of growth across all markets, and Gartner expects this to continue through 2017," said Nag.

"This strong growth continues to reflect a shift away from legacy IT services to cloud-based services, due to the increased trend of organisations pursuing a digital business strategy."

Read more about cloud and datacentre investment trends

The Gartner public cloud forecast also tipped the software-as-a-service (SaaS) sector to remain a hive of growth activity during the year ahead, as more suppliers look to repackage their on-premise software portfolios and relaunch them as cloud-enabled products.

As such, Gartner said the SaaS market should grow by around 20.3% in 2016 to be worth $37.7bn.

A similar trend in the enterprise looks set to fuel growth in the platform-as-a-service (PaaS) market over the next 12 months, as firms face up to the prospect of having to rewrite legacy applications so they can run in the cloud. This trend is expected to see the PaaS sector grow by 21.1% in 2016 to $4.6bn.

Read more on Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)