The public cloud could eventually become a global public utility, which could have huge implications for cloud providers like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and IBM, according to analysts at Morgan Stanley, GeekWire reports.
As it stands, analysts predict public cloud could grow to $340 billion by 2020, up from $300 billion today. But in a fictional analysis, Morgan Stanley says, as a public utility the cloud market could be comparable to the electricity market today, which stands at $1.6 trillion globally.
"If public cloud is a transformational technology like electricity, usage broadens and workload growth accelerates ... implying cloud stocks are widely undervalued today," according to Morgan Stanley.
While stock prices and revenue could go through the roof, making cloud a public utility would also mean much more regulatory scrutiny, which cloud providers like AWS, Microsoft and IBM would likely not enjoy.
Last summer, IBM was reportedly looking into a slightly different scenario — a cloud broker strategy that would be based on an IT as a Service offering, which IBM would use as a "gateway to public cloud providers as well as in-house infrastructure."
As cloud continues to grow at a record-setting pace, cloud providers have to continue to meet the demand, or the service could potentially face commoditization. That includes making sure systems stay up and running, something that has become a recent struggle for AWS and Microsoft.
But the idea of technology becoming more a public utility is not that far fetched. For years, experts and the FCC have argued both for and against classifying the internet as a public utility.