#Cloud computing and data storage for consumers – an annotated graphic

As E&T reports in its current issue, the ubiquity of the Internet has enabled consumers to store data on cloud services – but what’s the catch?

A few years ago, the cloud storage market was nothing but a small blip in overall subscriber terms. It has, however, subsequently exploded in growth and popularity.

In fact, in the early days, because it was new and untested, very few research companies were tracking consumer cloud subscription numbers. But IHS estimates that there were around 150 million subscribers by the end of 2011.

By the end of 2012, they estimate that there were more than 500 million cloud service subscribers. By the end of 2013 this is likely to have reached 625 million – it is then expected to double over the course of the following four years to reach 1.3 billion subscribers by 2017.

It just so happens that a number of important factors have co-aligned to make the business concept of storing documents, pictures and other popular file formats work. The economics and the technology are now mature enough to make it viable.

“The cloud is a game changer in an age of near ubiquitous mobile broadband, offering benefits to consumers and cloud service providers alike,” says Dr Jagdish Rebello, director for consumer and telecoms at IHS.

Certainly the big companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google and Amazon have moved heavily into offering cloud services to consumers. But they have been joined by a slew of pure-play cloud storage providers – led by market leaders Dropbox, as well as other companies such as Mozy, Carbonite and SugarSync.

Read the rest of this E&T article online. We commissioned this spiffy infographic to accompany the article in the printed edition of E&T magazine, but it was the wrong shape and size for the online page, so here ’tis instead.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.

Cloud computing storage
Cloud computing storage
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