Cloud providers may soon be able to consider adding a new string to their bow in the shape of consumer cloud services, as home users begin to turn to the cloud to store photos, videos and other content.
Analysts found that just 7% of consumer cloud was stored in the cloud in 2011, but said this looked set to grow to 36% by 2016.
The growth in sales of camera-equipped smartphone and tablet devices is leading to massive increases in user-generated content, said Gartner principal research analyst Shalini Verma. This in turn is driving the emergence of the personal cloud.
At the moment these personal cloud services are being met for free by social media services such as Facebook; although cloud storage providers are already active in this market, they are offering consumers a fraction of the space relative to that offered by social media sites.
However with average storage per household predicted to grow from 464 gigabytes last year to 3.3 terabutes in 2016, Gartner now believes that consumers will begin to turn to basic packages offered by online backup companies and cloud service providers.
"Local storage will become further integrated with home networking, presenting opportunities for local storage providers to partner with home netowkring and automation service providers," said Verma.
"Cloud storage will grow with the emergence of the personal cloud, which in turn will simplify the direct-to-cloud model, allowing users to directly store user-generated content in the cloud," she continued.
"As storage becomes a part of the personal cloud, it will become further commoditised; therefore online storage and sync companies will need to have a strategic rethink about their future approach."