Cloud is set to account for a third of the office systems market by 2017, according to research from Gartner.

The IT analyst house has released figures showing that, if you take India and China out of the equation, cloud currently represents 8% of office systems worldwide with about 50 million business users, but that a major shift will begin in the first half of 2015 and take it to 33% by 2017, and as high as 60% by 2022.

According to New Developments in the Cloud Office System Market, the explosion in the number of devices accessing office systems is the main factor in the expected boom. Gartner estimates that the typical knowledge worker now uses up to four devices – often smartphone, tablet, personal PC and business PC – to access their organisation's systems in a week.

Cloud systems are usually sold on the basis of a licence per user, rather than licence per device, which makes them more attractive for business.

Two year transition

Tom Austin, VP and Gartner Fellow, said: "Although it is still early in the overall evolution of this cloud-based segment, there are many cases where businesses – particularly smaller ones and those in the retail, hospitality and manufacturing industries – should move at least some users to cloud office systems during the next two years.

"However, readiness varies by service provider, and caution is warranted."