AWS cloud operation bigger than Google, IBM, Microsoft and Salesforce combined

Amazon Web Services (AWS) remains the leader in the cloud infrastructure services market, but competitors are carving out their own niches

Amazon Web Services (AWS) leads the cloud infrastructure services market, its operation bigger than the combined businesses of its four nearest competitors.

According to Synergy Research Group’s (SRG) first-quarter report into the state of the cloud infrastructure services market, AWS remains the provider to beat and continues to outperform the rest of the market.

But SRG's findings also show that Salesforce, Microsoft, IBM and Google – AWS’s four main competitors in the cloud infrastructure services market – are all leading different areas of it.

John Dinsdale, chief analyst and research director at Synergy Research Group, said: “Across the full and varied spectrum of cloud activities there are now six companies that can lay a valid claim to having annual cloud revenue run rates in excess of $5bn – AWS, IBM, Microsoft, HP, Cisco and Salesforce – and all are able to claim leadership in different parts of the cloud market.

“However, on a strict like-for-like basis, AWS remains streets ahead of the competition in cloud infrastructure services. Furthermore, this part of the cloud market is growing much more rapidly than SaaS or cloud infrastructure hardware and software.”

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Cloud providers carve out niche markets

In a follow-up interview with Computer Weekly, Dinsdale said that – with the whole market growing by almost 50% a year – there is plenty of space for all of these cloud providers to make their mark.

“It’s tough to see anyone else breaking into that top league anytime soon, but lower down the rankings/scale, there remains a huge long tail of small-to-medium sized cloud providers carving out niches focused on specific regional or service slices of the market,” he said.

"There will be continued consolidation and merger and acquisition activity but, at the same time, I think there will be a lot of startup activity and high-growth smaller players.”

And, to retain its dominant position, AWS just needs to keep doing what it always has done.

“The strategy so far has been predicated on being there first, aggressive ongoing investment in datacentre infrastructure, aggressive ongoing development of new services, and aggressive pricing,” he said. “I think the same strategy should stand it in good stead over the next few years.”

The results of Synergy Research’s findings are unlikely to come as much of surprise, in light of last week’s revelation about AWS being a $5bn operation and – in turn – the most profitable part of Amazon.com overall business.

Meanwhile, Microsoft’s recent set of results saw the continued adoption of its cloud products – which include Office 365 and Azure – cited as a major contributor to the 6% year-on-year revenue growth the company achieved during its third quarter.

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We're beginning to move into the 2nd phase of public cloud and we'll start to see these early investments by the largest clouds (infrastructure, automation, operations) begin to pay dividends as their growth begins to hockey-stick more. 
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