Cloud infrastructure services market growth soars in Q3 as Covid-19 fuels online demand

Latest quarterly market tracker data from Synergy Research Group reveals the impact the pandemic is having on the fortunes of the runners and riders in the cloud infrastructure services market

The soaring demand for online services brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic has served to ensure the cloud market has enjoyed a bumper third quarter, according to Synergy Research Group’s data.

The IT analyst house’s latest quarterly tracker data for the cloud infrastructure services market shows that global spending during the third quarter of 2020 in this segment hit $32.8bn and was up 33% year on year.

“Public IaaS and PaaS [infrastructure- and platform-as-a-service] services account for the bulk of the market and those grew by 35% in Q3,” said the company in a research note.

“The dominance of the major cloud providers is even more pronounced in public cloud, where the top five control almost 80% of the market. Geographically, the cloud market continues to grow strongly in all regions of the world.”

Such high growth figures are a “little unusual” for a sector of this size, conceded Synergy Research Group chief analyst John Dinsdale, and suggest the market is in “rude health” as the pandemic continues to fuel demand for cloud services.

“While we were fully expecting continued strong growth in the market, the scale of the growth in Q3 was a little surprising,” he said. “Total revenues were up by $2.5bn from the previous quarter, causing the year-on-year growth rate to nudge upwards, which is unusual for such a large market. It is quite clear that Covid-19 has provided an added boost to a market that was already developing rapidly.”

Cloud infrastructure services market leader Amazon Web Services (AWS) achieved 29% year-on-year revenue growth during Q3, with its senior management team crediting the acceleratory impact the pandemic has had on enterprise cloud migration projects.

Read more about cloud and the coronavirus

Similarly, its nearest rival in the public cloud market, Microsoft, posted its first-quarter results earlier this week, reporting a 31% year-on-year uptick in revenue for its commercial cloud division, while the revenue generated by its public cloud platform, Azure, was up 48% overall.

Synergy’s data shows Amazon and Microsoft now account for more than half of the revenue generated by the global cloud infrastructure services market, with AWS taking 33% of the sector’s share, while Microsoft holds 18%.

Given the dominant hold these two firms have, Dinsdale said it is clear the cloud infrastructure services market is starting to fragment.

“The companies competing for a share of the market have settled into three camps,” he said. “Amazon and Microsoft are in a league of their own, while others are either aggressively seeking to grow their position in the market or are more focused on specific services, geographies or customer groupings.”

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