OVER THREE BILLION consumers will be using cloud computing services by 2018, according to a study.
Juniper Research has released "Cloud Computing - Consumer Markets: Strategies and Forecasts 2014-2018", which concludes that the limited storage offered by mobile devices will continue to drive the popularity of the cloud through media services such as Spotify.
The study concludes that by 2018, 3.6 billion people will be using cloud services, up from the estimate of 2.4 billion last year.
However, the lion's share of revenue is found in streaming services, as cloud data storage services are struggling to attract paying subscribers.
Juniper warns, however, that there is still a huge gulf between revenue and profit, with many key players in the cloud market yet to turn a profit. Canonical recently closed its Ubuntu One cloud storage service, while Sugarsync has changed its business model after concluding that offering free storage was not sustainable.
Gaming represent a further boost, Juniper notes, with services such as Sony's Playstation Now, offering PS4 users heritage titles from the PSone and PS2 through the cloud. However, the report warns that high latency for cloud services threatens the performance of such online gaming, which could in turn affect revenues.
The full white paper includes research undertaken with members of the cloud community, including representatives from Spotify, Amazon and Apple, as well as looking at the effects of net neutrality prospects on the future of the cloud and the impact of new distribution technologies including WebRTC and network functions virtualisation. µ