Cloud storage is a type of remote data storage where data is stored and accessed on demand through the internet.
Cloud storage is run by a third-party service provider with one or more servers in one or more locations. Cloud storage enables companies to use and update the same data from multiple locations remotely.
See below to learn all about the global cloud storage market:
Growth of market for cloud storage
The cloud storage market had an estimated value of $70.19 billion in 2021. It’s expected to maintain a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24% from 2022 and reach $376.37 billion by 2029.
Several geographic regions are driving growth in market:
- The North American cloud storage market is the largest segment, worth $25.22 billion in 2020
- The Chinese market was worth $19.45 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $67.64 billion by 2024
- The Asia-Pacific market had an estimated worth of $43.14 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $116.06 billion by 2024
By industry, the banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI) sector was responsible for 23.1% of the cloud storage market consumption, closely followed by IT and telecommunications, as of 2021.
Other industries driving demand in the cloud storage market include:
- Health care and life sciences
- Retail and consumer goods
- Media and entertainment
The pandemic has also helped push growth in the cloud storage market.
“Cloud-based solutions enable employees to collaborate and stay connected as firms move toward a remote work environment,” says Fortune Business Insights in its 2022 report on the cloud storage market.
“The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of cloud storage, with the increased proliferation of collaboration and conferencing applications by the remote workforce.”
Cloud storage features
Cloud storage provides on-demand access to data and files, enabling remote employees, contractors, and partners to access the same data without requiring physical access.
When outsourced, cloud storage allocates the burden of data storage management and maintenance to a third-party provider.
Cloud storage services are available in three types.
Private cloud storage
Private cloud storage dedicates physical storage resources to a single end-user entity. On-premises private cloud storage is housed and managed in house by the company’s internal IT team.
Outsourced private cloud storage works similarly. The IT infrastructure and resources aren’t shared with other tenants, but the management and maintenance of the physical components are handled by the service provider.
Public cloud storage
Public cloud storage is offered by third-party providers where the services you’re using are also leased to other tenants. This option tends to be cheaper.
Hybrid cloud storage
Hybrid cloud storage is a flexible combination of public and private cloud storage. This option enables companies to store and manage sensitive data on-premises, while outsourcing storage of non-critical data.
Hybrid cloud helps companies strike the balance between cost, efficiency, and security in cloud storage.
Whether it’s private, public, or hybrid cloud storage, they all tend to share a primary set of features, including:
- On-demand data availability
- Little to no in-house maintenance
- Pay-as-you-go pricing model
- Large network access
Benefits of cloud storage
The benefits of different cloud storage types vary, depending on multiple factors, such as the industry, company size, available in-house resources, and up-front investment.
Some standard cloud storage benefits for businesses include:
- Flexibility and ease of access to data
- Centralized storage for efficient updates and backups
- Reduced time to deployment
- Remote global access to data
- File sharing
“The two most important attributes of cloud storage are price and speed. Cloud storage providers will need to focus on driving down costs and making storage faster to remain competitive, all while being closer to their customers,” says Dave Friend, member of the Forbes Technology Council.
“Vendors can help drive down costs and increase agility for their customers by removing large egress fees, implementing data security framework, and eliminating storage tiers for fast and easy access.
Cloud storage use cases
Cloud storage in all its forms is a versatile solution for companies in various industries.
These case studies show how cloud storage solutions can be used to boost business performance and cut costs:
BQ is a designer and developer of consumer electronics, such as smartphones, 3D printers, and robotics. With over 170 engineers, BQ serves millions of consumers from over 40 countries.
The company faced growth and had trouble keeping up with the demands of customers, particularly in the European market. In order to upscale its IT infrastructure, BQ moved most operations and data storage to the cloud.
Moving its Kubernetes engine to Google Cloud, BQ was able to make its resources and digital environment more available to employees and customers in numerous offices around the world.
“With its expertise in a rapidly evolving technology landscape, Google is the perfect match for us in a world that demands constant improvement in services,” says Pablo Moncada, IT DevOps team lead, BQ.
“Our goals align nicely with Google: we want to empower people with the right tools to work and play their best.”
BQ was able to scale up by more than 2,000% in services, save 60% on cloud hosting expenses, and scale from 15 hosted services to 350 services.
Discover Financial Services
Discover Financial Services is a provider of banking and credit products. Based in the U.S., Discover also owns and operates Discover Banks, with offerings from checking and savings accounts to personal and student loans and credit cards.
Discover relies primarily on data and analytics to help serve its millions of customers. During its growth, Discover’s data operations teams evolved into 12 separate teams using a variety of different tools.
Looking to combine them all into one, Discover sought a cloud solution to host the operations alongside customer data. Using multiple services from AWS, Discover’s internal IT team was able to build a centralized platform for the company’s data scientists to collaborate.
“Amazon EFS fit the bill well as far as scalability and costs, and due to some great work from the Kubernetes community, there were already storage-class capabilities around the service,” says Brandon Harris, director of data science technology, Discover Financial Services.
“It used to take weeks to get users the tools they needed to do their jobs. Now we can do it in hours, so they can start gleaning insights and delivering value for our customers almost immediately.”
By moving operations to the AWS cloud, Discover was able to save time by 90% and cut costs by 50%-60%. Additionally, the company now has access to unlimited cloud storage to host customer data.
Mawson’s Huts Foundation
Mawson’s Huts Foundation is a nonprofit that’s committed to conserving the huts in east Antarctica. Since the organization’s founding in 1996, it has funded 15 conservation expeditions, while partnering with local education programs and the Australian Antarctic Division.
Mawson’s Huts website contains hundreds of answers to questions regarding Antarctica and its history. It’s also looking to develop an interactive artificial intelligence (AI) platform for educational purposes.
By sing multiple IBM solutions, such as IBM Cloud Foundry, IBM Watson Assistant, and IBM Cloud Object Storage, Mawson’s Huts Foundation made its database of videos, images, archives, and answers accessible to more people.
“Today, we’ve made excellent progress in developing the platform. It’s been a big learning curve for us, but ISW has done an outstanding job in putting it together, using IBM Watson and cloud technology,” says Greg Carter, CEO, Mawson’s Huts Foundation.
“So far, we’ve pulled together more than 500 Antarctic-related answers to many thousands of questions.”
With IBM’s cloud solutions, Mawson’s Huts is expected to reach over 100,000 Australian children every year. It was also able to cover 15 new educational topics over the course of six months.
Cloud storage providers
A few of the leading players in the global cloud storage market include:
- Alibaba Cloud
- Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE)
- Dell Technologies
- Rackspace Technology