The most profitable cloud based services in 2012 came from vendors with more than $75 million in sales at 66 percent and those who are privately held at 77 percent, according to research by Market Monitor. Forbes reported on the statistics, which showed that platform as a service was projected to grow 41 percent per year through 2016.

According to TechTarget, PaaS is a means by which to rent hardware, operating systems, storage and network capacity through the internet. This allows customers to rent servers to run or test existing apps. 

"With PaaS, operating system features can be changed and upgraded frequently," the website said. "Geographically distributed development teams can work together on software development projects. Services can be obtained from diverse sources that cross international boundaries."

Other numbers from the Market Monitor report, according to Forbes, included:
- Cloud computing solutions will grow to $20 billion by 2016, a 36 percent per-year growth
- Infrastructure as a service will generate 51 percent of cloud revenue by 2016 with a 37 percent per year growth
- Software as a service will grow 29 percent per year through 2016, becoming a much more fragmented market