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Cloud computing: AWS still dominates IaaS but Microsoft and Google growing faster

Amazon netted a 45% slice of the worldwide public cloud services market in 2019, which grew to $44.5bn.


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Amazon retained its position as the top provider of public cloud services in 2019 after accounting for nearly half of the global infrastructure as a service (IaaS) market during the year.

According to a Gartner report, Amazon pulled in an estimated $20 billion in IaaS cloud revenue in 2019, leading with a 45% market share. Microsoft trailed behind in second place with a 17.9% slice of the market, netting the Redmond company just shy of $8bn in 2019.

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Microsoft was followed by Alibaba, Google and Tencent. Altogether, the worldwide IaaS public cloud service market grew to $44.5bn in 2019, up 37.3% year-on-year.

Sid Nag, research vice president at Gartner, said growth was largely driven by the demand for new, data-intensive and scalable technologies delivered via the cloud. “Cloud underpins the push to digital business, which remains at the top of CIOs’ agendas,” said Nag.

“It enables technologies such as the edge, AI, machine learning and 5G, among others. At the end of the day, each of these technologies require a scalable, elastic and high-capacity infrastructure platform like public cloud IaaS, which is why the market witnessed strong growth.”

AWS leveraged its number one spot in 2018 to build out its capabilities beyond the IaaS layer in the cloud stack and maintain its top position the following year, Gartner said. Amazon has made AWS a leader in cloud-based machine learning, and the company’s massive purchasing power and scale makes it a highly influential player in the global cloud market.

Microsoft retained the number two spot in 2019, with more than half of its revenue coming from North America. The company’s IaaS offering grew 57.8% year-on-year, using its sales reach and its bundling of its Azure cloud platform with other Microsoft products to drive adoption.

Google, meanwhile, saw its public cloud IaaS revenue jump from $1.3bn in 2018 to $2.4bn in 2019 – an increase of just over 80%. Similar to Microsoft, North America accounted for nearly half of Google’s IaaS revenues, where the company saw demand for “ industry specific solutions on robust computing infrastructure.” Overall, the company held a 5.3% share in the global IaaS market.

In China, Alibaba Cloud led the charge in IaaS, with sales growing 62.4% to surpass $4bn in 2019. The country’s second-largest cloud provider, WeChat owner and video game giant Tencent, saw sales grow 10-fold in 2019 $1.23bn. Alibaba and Tencent accounted for 9.1% and 2.8% of the global IaaS market, respectively.

Gartner predicted that China-based providers such as Alibaba, Tencent and Huawei would continue to gain traction as the market matured, and market share between providers eroded as a result. “It will also be hard for other providers, such as the North America based cloud providers, to enter the China market given the country’s highly regulated market,” said Nag.

Given the shift to home working resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are expected to lend more of their IT budgets to cloud spending in the near future, according to Gartner.

Nag suggested that cloud technology had demonstrated its value for companies during this time, meaning IT leaders would be in no hurry to slow investment in scaling out additional capacity and capabilities to their cloud infrastructure.

“When enterprises were compelled to move their applications to the public cloud as a result of the pandemic, they realised the true benefits of public cloud and it is unlikely that they will change course,” said Nag.

“In the recovery and rebound phase, CIOs are recognising that they don’t need to bring workloads back on premises, which will further increase cloud spending and drive new applications around cloud-hosted collaboration that incorporate emerging technologies such as virtual reality and immersive video experiences.”

Be sure to check out TechRepublic’s list of 2020’s top cloud providers and more of our must-read cloud computing coverage over on Flipboard.

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