Famous file-hosting service Dropbox may have reached a $10 billion valuation, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Dropbox's latest funding round suggests the company's valuation has more than doubled since late 2011. Dropbox has clearly benefited from an increasing demand for data storage, as evidenced by its more than 200 million users and 4 million business accounts. The promising market for data storageDropbox, which had 2012 sales of $112 million, recently reported it was targeting more than $200 million in sales for 2013. As tech analyst Amit Daryanani notes, the raw amount of data that's being created is growing at about a 50%-55% clip annually. And, according to Statista, global cloud computing service revenue in the storage segment is expected to almost double between 2014 and 2016. Beyond data storageThe company has also shown strong interest in going beyond data storage. Replicating Dropbox's successA minimalistic design, perfect synchronization, strong branding, and a word-of-mouth marketing strategy has helped Dropbox to achieve great popularity.
With more than 320 million users, Apple's iCloud service is probably larger than Dropbox in terms of user metrics. Final Foolish takeawayThe enormous increase in global demand for data storage may allow Dropbox to nearly double its annual revenue.
This article presents an overview of the findings of the 2014 ‘Survey on ICT (information and communication technology) usage in households and by individuals’.
Almost four out of five individuals (78 %) in the EU used the internet at least once in the three months prior to the survey. Mobile internet usage in the EU recorded notable growth between 2012 and 2014, jumping by 16 percentage points.
Services based on cloud computing technology allow users to store large files or use software on a server run over the internet.
In 2014, 21 % of the EU population aged 16-74 reported having used internet storage space to save documents, pictures, music, videos or other files. Compared with other ways of electronic file sharing, services offering internet storage space were used less often (figure 5). In 2014, 55 % of the EU population used the internet but did not use internet storage space for saving or sharing files.
Cloud services can give users access to software for editing text, spreadsheets or presentations. The data in this article are based on the results of the annual surveys on ICT usage in households and by individuals.
The 2014 survey results are based on responses from a total of 150 427 households containing at least one person aged 16-74, and 211 325 individuals aged 16-74 across the EU. Individuals were asked about the last time they used the internet, how often they used the internet, use away from home or usual place of work, e-skills, e-government and e-commerce related activities and use of a wide range of online services fulfilling different functions, e.g. The main reference period for data relating to activities carried out over the internet and the use of cloud services was the first quarter of 2014, as most countries collected data in the second quarter.
The ‘digital divide’ refers to the divergence in the patterns of computer and internet use seen across countries and between different sections of the population. The findings of this survey are used for monitoring several EU policies, in particular the Digital Agenda for Europe, one element of the Europe 2020 growth strategy. This forecast shows global cloud computing service revenue in the storage service segment from 2010 to 2016. The start-up became one of the most highly valued companies backed by venture capitalists after it raised roughly $250 million in a funding round lead by a BlackRock investment fund. However, the company is set to benefit enormously from a massive increase in the global demand for data storage.
This is because the company is gradually shifting its focus from user-base growth and personal accounts to monetization and enterprise services.

And although there are plenty of competitors offering more space -- Tencent's Weiyun data-storage service is said to provide users with 10,000 gigabytes -- Dropbox has so far managed to protect its leading position in the cloud data-storage market. Note that, unlike Dropbox, which promotes its cross-platform nature, iCloud is tied to Apple's operating system. It takes a closer look at individuals' internet and mobile internet use in the EU and a set of newly released indicators relating to the use of cloud services. In 2014, half of the EU population aged 16-74 used the internet on portable computers or handheld devices through a mobile phone network or wireless connection when not at home or at work. Most cloud users appreciated the ease of accessing files from several devices or locations. The Digital Agenda target of 75 % of the population using the internet regularly in 2015 (on average at least once a week, at home, at work or elsewhere) was reached in 2014.
The fastest growth was seen in Germany, Estonia, Spain and Hungary, where usage rates increased by over 20 percentage points (figure 1). Nonetheless, a significant 'digital divide' remains, with large differences still seen between the rates of non-use in individual countries. Cloud services are a relatively new phenomenon compared with web applications for social networking, listening to music or watching films. Similarly, the younger population made greater use of internet storage space for sharing files (figure 4). At EU level, only one in ten cloud users chose to use paid-for internet storage space for saving or sharing files (figure 6). Furthermore, over half of users gave protection against data loss as a reason for using the cloud (55 %). Individuals who used the internet but were not aware of the existence of cloud services offering internet storage made up over a quarter (26 %) of the population (figure 8).
Data for 2014 were aggregated from microdata transmitted by all EU Member States and other countries (Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland). A 12-month reference period was taken for e-government and e-commerce related activities because they tend to be irregular and seasonal. The respondents ranged from technical executives to managers and practitioners and represented organizations of varying sizes across many industries. The source estimates that by 2016 storage service revenue will have climbed over 4 billion U.S. For example, the company has begun selling security and other premium features to companies, who want to control how their employees store files. According to Forbes writer Tomio Geron, this acquisition may suggest that Dropbox plans to build a set of features -- from managing photos to loading movies -- is addition to providing data storage. However, due to its integrated suite of cloud-based apps -- Google Docs -- the Internet giant is believed to be experiencing fast growth in this segment. A considerable part of the population has not yet, however, become aware of the existence of cloud services despite being internet users.
The proportion of internet users who go online on a daily basis was high in all Member States and in Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.
One of the main challenges faced when measuring the usage of cloud services is being able to make a clear distinction between these and other online services. The percentage of individuals in the EU who additionally used internet storage space for sharing files was 15 % (figure 3).
Fewer than one in ten individuals in Poland, Lithuania and Romania used cloud services for saving or sharing files. Around a third of EU cloud users saved or shared music, a quarter video files and one in seven e-books. The 2014 survey included a specific module with questions on the use of cloud computing services for private purposes by individuals.

Annual Digital Agenda Scoreboard reports monitor progress towards these targets and on the basis of the indicators specified in the 2011-2015 Benchmarking Digital Europe Framework.
The company is selling its cheap Chromebooks with a 100-gigabyte Google Drive plan for two years.
But thanks to a simple design, perfect synchronization, and strong branding, Dropbox should be able to continue growing.
Among those internet users who were aware, concerns about security and privacy were a major factor that prevented them from using such services. Just under two thirds of all EU citizens (65 %) used the internet every day or almost every day. The following indicators therefore focus on the use of cloud services for file storage and sharing, provide information on type of content stored or shared on a server accessible over the internet, use of paid-for and free services and the reasons for using or not using cloud services. It provides information about the current trends in moving from using own hardware and software to using resources provided by a cloud service. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.
In love with tech, innovation, startups, marketing, researching emerging markets, and taking a Foolish approach to business model analysis. Furthermore, around half of the population (51 %) used the internet on the go on portable computers or handheld devices (table 1).
Only 13 percent of enterprises are running more than 1,000 virtual machines (VMs) in public cloud, while 22 percent of enterprises have more than 1,000 VMs in private cloud.
The private cloud lead in workloads may represent existing virtualized environments that have been enhanced and relabeled as a private cloud.However, enterprises are expecting to grow public cloud workloads more quickly. In 12 months, 27 percent of enterprise respondents expect to have more than 1,000 VMs — more than doubling the current 13 percent.
Fast-forward one year and we may find that enterprises are dividing workloads more equally between public clouds and private clouds.Plenty of Headroom for More Cloud WorkloadsWhile cloud adoption is growing quickly, most enterprises (68 percent) run less than 20 percent of their workloads in the cloud.
A majority (55 percent) of respondents report that at least another 20 percent of applications are built on cloud-friendly architectures and are ready for cloud.Enterprise Central IT Teams Take the Reins to Broker Cloud ServicesThe early public cloud market was largely driven by small technology-focused companies and forward-looking business units within larger enterprises. More recently, as enterprises have become increasingly comfortable with cloud technologies, central IT teams are seeking to take a more significant role in cloud purchasing decisions.
More than 62 percent of enterprise respondents report that a majority of cloud purchase decisions are made by central IT.The 2014 State of the Cloud Survey showed large discrepancies between the two groups, with business units generally seeing a more limited role for central IT.
While central IT and business units in the enterprise still have different views about the role that central IT should play, this year 40 percent of business unit respondents agree that central IT should act as a broker of cloud services, more than double the 18 percent that agreed in 2014. DevOps teams are often leveraging automated configuration management tools — such as Chef, Puppet, Salt, and Ansible. In the last year, Docker, a container-based approach, has also stormed onto the scene as another way to deploy code assets on infrastructure.
All of these tools are often used in conjunction with cloud management solutions that provision infrastructure across clouds.With a significant head start, Chef (28 percent) and Puppet (24 percent) remain the most used DevOps tools overall. However, Docker, in just its first year on the market, is already being used by 13 percent of organizations.
OpenStack also has 13 percent adoption, but continues to generate high levels of interest with 30 percent of respondents evaluating or planning to use.
As a result, central IT teams are stepping in to offer cloud infrastructure services to their organizations while ensuring governance and control over costs. This shift of cloud adoption from shadow IT to a strategic imperative is a critical step in the move to a cloud-centric future.

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