Companies like IBM (IBM) and Microsoft (MSFT) have already spent billions transitioning their services to the cloud, and a new report shows they have no intention of stopping anytime soon.

In fact, enterprise spending on the cloud is expected to triple over the next three years to an estimated $235.1 billion by 2017, according to a new report from IHS (IHS).  This year, spending is forecast to jump 20% over 2013 levels to $174.2 billion.

In an increasingly mobile world, the cloud has become a critical strategy for businesses across all industries, enabling consumers to access vast amounts of data and media such as music from their smartphones and tablets.  

IHS believes the number of global consumer subscriptions to the cloud will jump to 730 million this year from 630 million in 2013.

Jagdish Rebello, IHS principal analyst for the cloud and big data, said it’s a sign of the market’s vigor as large and small businesses move more applications to the cloud and use Big Data to improve products and services for customers.

“With the cloud touching nearly every consumer and enterprise around the globe, spending for cloud-related storage, servers, applications and content will be dedicated toward building a framework that is rapidly scalable, highly dynamic, available on-demand and requiring minimal management,” he said.

Such developments will drive multi-billion-dollar investments in cloud-based architectures, Rebello said. 

Google (GOOG), Apple (AAPL), Amazon.com (AMZN) and Microsoft are now offering premium public cloud storage services, while smaller competitors like Dropbox and Barracuda are offering a fixed amount of free storage to compete with tech giants.

While IHS says a “new cloud paradigm” will dictate new ways to manage and consume data, it warns that key issues still must be addressed, such as security, mobile data usage and privacy.   

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