Gartner forecasts worldwide container management revenue to grow strongly from a small base of $465.8 million in 2020, to reach $944 million in 2024. Public cloud container orchestration and serverless container offerings will experience the most significant growth.
“There has been considerable hype and a high level of interest in container technology, but a lower level of production deployments to date,” said Michael Warrilow, research vice president at Gartner.
The rise of containers
Containers have become popular because they provide a powerful tool for addressing several critical concerns of application developers, including the need for faster delivery, agility, portability, modernization and life cycle management.
Gartner predicts that by 2022, more than 75% of global organizations will be running containerized applications in production, up from less than 30% today.
The growing use of containers is fuelling demand for container management – software and/or services that support the management of containers, at scale, in production environments.
Driver behind container management growth
Gartner says the forecast growth in enterprise adoption of container management indicates the intrinsic appeal of cloud-native architecture.
Warrilow noted that while understanding of ‘cloud-native’ varies, it has significant potential benefits over traditional, monolithic application design, such as scalability, elasticity and agility. “It is also strongly associated with the use of containers,” he continued.
Slowing economies to curb growth in the medium-term
Despite the need to support digital transformation, initiatives will be curbed by recessed economic conditions for at least the medium term, as organizational priorities shift to cost optimization.
Gartner expects that up to 15% of enterprise applications will run in a container environment by 2024, up from less than 5% in 2020. Growth will be hampered by application backlog, technical debt and budget constraints.
“The bottleneck will be the speed at which applications can be refactored and/or replaced,” Warrilow said.
Containers will fuel an open ecosystem
Direct revenue for container management software and services will remain a small portion of the container ecosystem. Additional revenue will come from a range of adjacent segments that are not included in Gartner’s container management forecast. This includes application development, managed services, on-premises hardware and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) among other segments.
For example, the IaaS revenue associated with container management is expected to reach $1 billion before 2023. Many of the adjacent segments are already reported in existing Gartner forecasts
“Although the direct incremental revenue may be less than many expect, containers may have a different role to play. Containers could ultimately fuel an open ecosystem similar to Linux,” cautioned Warrilow.