The consumer cloud is set to grow. ABI Research predicts that revenue from consumer use of cloud-based backup/storage sites will grow from $75 billion in 2009 to over $372 million in 2015, a CAGR of 27.89 percent. “The consum

er value proposition for many Cloud Computing applications is simple; they’re free,” said ABI Research practice director Larry Fisher. “Most of the 1000+ US consumers responding to a 2010 ABI Research survey said they were hesitant to pay anything for use of a cloud-based service site.”

The major hurdle for cloud revenue is convincing consumers to pay for premium services. In 2009, 88 percent of cloud storage/backup services used by consumers were free.

143 million consumers used free or low-cost cloud applications in 2009, and ABI expects that number to reach 160.6 million in 2015. Obviously, the growth in revenue is dependent upon consumers switching to paid models.

ABI predicates this growth on several factors, mainly price and ubiquity. Also driving adoption will be the growth of the netbook market, a market whose future has been increasingly questioned of late. Also driving growth will be other mobile internet devices, the growing public awareness of cloud computing, and disasters that result in utility service disruptions.

ABI believes that, once consumers are comfortable with the cloud, they will be willing to upgrade to paid versions for additional space.

“Many companies will provide free access to their web-based applications to consumers in the hope that they’ll be sufficiently impressed to bring their enthusiasm for these applications to the businesses for which they work,” Fisher said. ”Commercial pricing is then based on the number of users and the amount of storage used.”

(Image: Wikipedia)

By Mark Alvarez