A recent report published by MarketsandMarkets found that the cloud storage market is expected to grow from $5.65 billion currently to an expected $46.8 billion by 2018. At a compound annual growth rate of 40.2 percent, the segment is a fast-growing force in the technology industry. Analysts suggested that this is likely due to improvements in the infrastructure backbone that forms the cloud.

"Advancement of cloud storage technologies such as inline data deduplication, inline compression, WAN optimization, cloud based security solutions and cloud storage gateways are pushing the growth of the market," MarketsandMarkets explained. "Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are rapidly adopting cloud based storage services to reduce cost and IT complexity compared to large enterprises, thereby pushing the market growth."

Although SMBs represent the fastest growing segment of the cloud storage market, both personal and enterprise-grade solutions are expected to continue climbing as well. Despite a growing trust in outsourced solutions, barriers still exist that are keeping some companies out of the cloud. As Matt Zieg, manager of product marketing for Emerson Network Power, recently explained, data security is beginning to play less of a role in the decision making process. However, information ownership and vendor lock-in concerns persist and have been enough for many companies to manage critical assets in-house.

Despite prevailing concerns in the market, cloud solution providers are likely to see continued growth in the market. As Zieg noted, more than a third of companies already use cloud solutions and many are planning to deploy the technology.

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