The global public cloud services market will grow from £11.4bn in 2011 to £42bn by 2016, according to analyst firm Ovum.
"The global public cloud services market will explode over the next five years as uptake soars worldwide," said Ovum cloud computing analyst Laurent Lachal.
"However, although the market size will see strong growth, the evolution of cloud computing within enterprises, and the IT trends that follow, will happen more slowly," he said.
North America is expected to carry on dominating the market but its share is forecast to dip from 54.6 per cent in 2011 to 50 per cent in 2016.
The Western European public cloud services market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 31.2 per cent from 2011 to 2016 to reach $17.2bn (£10.9bn) – a share of just over 25 per cent – up from $4.4bn (£2.8bn) in 2011.
Asia Pacific will have a CAGR of 33.9 per cent, rising from $2.9bn (£1.8bn) to $12.4bn (£7.9bn).
Software-as-a-service currently dominates the market, accounting for 87 per cent of public cloud services, but this share is expected to drop to 62 per cent as infrastructure-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service offerings attract more business.
Lachel stressed that this growth in the public cloud market did not mean IT departments would become increasingly obsolete.
"IT teams will take a more holistic approach to connecting networks, hardware and software. They will also reduce their emphasis on maintenance and increase their innovation, while being encouraged to take more risks, by giving employees the capacity to tackle high-reward ventures," said Lachel.
"But, as ever, preparation is the key to ensuring that cloud computing delivers a positive outcome," he said.