Forecast for Change: Making Sense of Nebulous Cloud Numbers

Amy Larsen DeCarlo
Amy Larsen DeCarlo

Summary Bullet:

  • IBM acknowledged that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is looking into the way the company accounts for cloud revenues, but the provider isn’t alone in reporting practices that can seem inscrutable.
  • Will the investigation prompt IBM and others to disclose more detail around their on-demand sales, or by their nature is it too difficult to break out revenue figures that are often bundled together with hardware, software, and other services?

When it comes to forecasting cloud computing revenues, ambitious projections are the rule as number crunchers envision expansive demand for economical on-demand IT services.  Yet calculating future cloud numbers is an especially speculative exercise in a market space where many of the top players don’t explicitly report their current cloud figures. The reason for this is fairly straightforward; as bullish as many enterprises – and IT analysts – are on the cloud, revenues from on-demand services still account for a relatively small portion of most publicly-traded companies’ overall sales and thus they are not specifically required by regulation or convention to report those numbers. Continue reading “Forecast for Change: Making Sense of Nebulous Cloud Numbers”