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Gartner Forecasts Worldwide Public Cloud End-User Spending to Reach Nearly $600 Billion in 2023

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Worldwide end-user spending on public cloud services is forecast to grow 20.7% to a total $591.8 billion in 2023, up from $490.3 billion in 2022, according to the latest forecast from Gartner, Inc. This is higher than the 18.8% growth forecast for 2022.

“Current inflationary pressures and macroeconomic conditions are having a push and pull effect on cloud spending,” said Sid Nag, Vice President Analyst at Gartner. “Cloud computing will continue to be a bastion of safety and innovation, supporting growth during uncertain times due to its agile, elastic, and scalable nature.

“Yet, organizations can only spend what they have. Cloud spending could decrease if overall IT budgets shrink, given that cloud continues to be the largest chunk of IT spend and proportionate budget growth.”

Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) is forecast to experience the highest end-user spending growth in 2023 at 29.8% (see Table 1). All segments are expected to see growth in 2023.

Table 1. Worldwide Public Cloud Services End-User Spending Forecast (Millions of U.S. Dollars)

  2021 2022 2023
Cloud Business Process Services (BPaaS) 54,952 60,127 65,145
Cloud Application Infrastructure Services (PaaS) 89,910 110,677 136,408
Cloud Application Services (SaaS) 146,326 167,107 195,208
Cloud Management and Security Services 28,489 34,143 41,675
Cloud System Infrastructure Services (IaaS) 90,894 115,740 150,254
Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) 2,059 2,539 3,104
Total Market 412,632 490,333 591,794

BPaaS = business process as a service; IaaS = infrastructure as a service; PaaS = platform as a service; SaaS = software as a service
Note: Totals may not add up due to rounding.

“Cloud migration is not stopping,” said Nag. “IaaS will naturally continue to grow as businesses accelerate IT modernization initiatives to minimize risk and optimize costs. Moving operations to the cloud also reduce capital expenditures by extending cash outlays over a subscription term, a key benefit in an environment where cash may be critical to maintaining operations.”

Gartner expects that PaaS and software-as-a-service (SaaS) will see the most significant impacts from inflation due to staffing challenges and the focus on margin protection. However, both segments will still see continued growth, with Gartner forecasting 23.2% growth for PaaS and 16.8% for SaaS in 2023.

“Higher-wage and more skilled staff are required to develop modern SaaS applications, so organizations will be challenged as hiring is reduced to control costs,” said Nag. “But since PaaS can facilitate more efficient and automated code generation for SaaS applications, the rate of PaaS consumption will consequently increase.”

“Despite the growth, profitability, and competition pressures, cloud spending will continue through perpetual cloud usage,” Nag added. “Once applications and workloads move to the cloud they generally stay there, and subscription models ensure that spending will continue through the term of the contract and most likely well beyond. For these vendors, cloud spending is an annuity – the gift that keeps on giving.”

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