A growing market
The cloud computing market has become increasingly dense as vendors of all sizes compete for customers who have gravitated to the technology as a way to run their business operations. Research firm IDC projects global public cloud spending will reach $203.4 billion worldwide by 2020. All this in the round, which vendors are expected to take the biggest share of the cloud computing market?
Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Amazon Web Services (AWS) has established itself as a frontrunner in the cloud computing market. When first launched, AWS was widely used by smaller developers as an affordable way to run and test basic websites. Many of these basic sites and apps were well received, such as Netflix and Instagram. Consequently, Amazon has been able to invest in more high-end services, luring in advanced sites and apps in return. Currently, Amazon has a 44% Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) market share.
Microsoft is among AWS’s chief competitors in the cloud computing market. It is one of a handful of vendors that provides IaaS, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). In 2015, Microsoft set a $20 billion annual run rate goal by the end of its fiscal year 2018. Upon releasing its first quarter of fiscal year 2018 earnings, Microsoft announced its commercial cloud annualized revenue run rate reached $20.4 billion on account of products like Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics 365.
Google has recently made strides to expand its cloud infrastructure. Last month, for example, the company announced it is extending its global infrastructure with the addition of three new submarine fiber-optic cables and five new cloud computing regions to be launched later this year. The move should enable the company’s cloud business to reach places like Australia and South America. The new regions and subsea cables ought to help Google better compete with rivals like Microsoft and AWS.
IBM has become a major player in the cloud computing market as well. The company has made major investments in technology, such as IBM Bluemix, which helps developers create applications in the cloud. The company has also made investments in artificial intelligence (A.I.) with its IBM Watson platform. Forbes.com reports that cloud revenue constitutes over 20% of IBM’s total revenue of nearly $80 billion.
Alibaba’s cloud is less know within the states, but leads the cloud infrastructure market in China. According to Simon Hu, president of Alibaba Cloud, the company wants to “match or surpass” AWS by 2019. Alibaba announced last October it would invest $15 billion into a global network of research labs in China, the United States, Russia, Israel and Singapore. The labs will focus on budding technologies like data intelligence, the internet of things (IoT), financial technology, quantum computing and human-machine interaction. According to recent figures from research firm Gartner, Alibaba is the No. 3 IaaS cloud vendor.