ABI Research forecasts that the active accounts associated with personal cloud storage services will exceed 1 billion at the end of 2013, nearly twice as many as a year ago. Over the next five years the global account base will more than triple, reaching 3.61 billion by the end of 2018. In the meantime, the aggregated data storage utilized by personal cloud services is expected to increase from 685 petabytes in 2013 to 3,520 petabytes in 2018.
Senior analyst Aapo Markkanen comments, “Various factors are contributing to the rapidly increasing personal cloud uptake, including the consumerization of enterprise IT and multiple device ownership. For storage needs, the most far-reaching driver is the expansion and improvement of camera technologies. In particular, cameras embedded in smartphones have generated large amounts of high-resolution image and video content. This trend toward ubiquitous cameras is only set to intensify, as camera capabilities gain traction in wearable computing and the Internet of Things.”
Personal cloud has by now become a must-have feature for digital ecosystems, such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, Alibaba, and Yandex, which all use their storage services to strengthen the relationship with the consumer. These services are posing a challenge to dedicated, platform-agnostic cloud services, but ABI Research expects the latter service category to co-exist with the ecosystem clouds.
According to practice director Dan Shey, “Of the standalone providers, we expect the early leader, Dropbox, to double down on the enterprise, as a way to attract more premium accounts. Meanwhile, it is also interesting to see start-ups with new and arguably more innovative technology propositions entering the market. Players like Bitcasa and Space Monkey are out to test the premise that the cloud could ultimately replace the native device as the primary storage for users’ data.”
These findings are from ABI Research’s “Personal Cloud Storage and Synchronization” study, which is part of the firm’s Cloud Content and Services Research Service.
ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of trends in global connectivity and other emerging technologies. From offices in North America, Europe and Asia, ABI Research’s worldwide team of experts advises thousands of decision makers through 70+ research and advisory services. Est. 1990. For more information visit www.abiresearch.com, or call +1.516.624.2500.