Gartner: Consumer cloud storage take-up set to soar

Cloud choices

Consumers will store a third of their digital content in the cloud by 2016, claims IT market watcher Gartner.

It predicts that consumer digital storage needs will grow by around 91 per cent from 329 exabytes in 2011 to 4.1 zettabytes in 2016.

Shalini Verma, principal research analyst at Gartner, said the desire to share and access content on multiple devices is driving consumer demand for digital storage.

"With the emergence of the personal cloud, this fast-growing consumer digital content will quickly get disaggregated from connected devices," said Verma.

Social media sites, such as Facebook, which offer free storage space for uploading photos and videos, will meet the cloud storage needs of consumers in the near-term.

Gartner also predicts that on-premise storage will keep its place as the main repository of consumer digital content for some time, but expects its hold on the market to fall from 93 per cent in 2011 to 64 per cent in 2016, as the popularity of cloud storage grows.

North America and Western Europe are expected to the main adopters of cloud storage during this time, closely followed by countries in the APAC region.

"Cloud storage will grow with the emergence of the personal cloud, which in turn will simplify the direct-to-cloud model," Verma said.

"Online storage and sync companies need to have a strategic rethink about their future approach."