The worldwide market for public cloud systems is projected to hit $204 billion this year, a 16.5 percent increase over the $175 billion market in 2015, according to analyst firm Gartner.

“The market for public cloud services is continuing to demonstrate high rates of growth across all markets and Gartner expects this to continue through 2017,” said Sid Nag, research director at Gartner, in a statement. “This strong growth continues to reflect a shift away from legacy IT services to cloud-based services, due to increased trend of organizations pursuing a digital business strategy.”

Given that IT budgets are growing at a rated of 1 percent to 3 percent, cloud services is one of the fastest growing segments of IT,” said Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with ZK Research. “Traditional packaged software is having about 3 percent growth, so cloud is five times that. The cloud just greatly simplifies IT but also enables businesses to move faster.”

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