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Global Hyperscale Cloud Providers Dominate IaaS Growth

Leading public cloud service providers continue to gain market share across the globe. The cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) market grew 37.3 percent in 2019 to reach $44.5 billion -- that's up from $32.4 billion in 2018, according to the latest worldwide market study by Gartner.

Amazon (AWS) retained the number one position in the IaaS market in 2019, followed by Microsoft (Azure), Alibaba, Google and Tencent. The remaining cloud service providers are essentially niche players, by comparison.

"Cloud underpins the push to digital business, which remains at the top of CIOs’ agendas," said Sid Nag, vice president at Gartner. “It enables technologies such as the edge, AI, machine learning and 5G, among others."

Public Cloud IaaS Market Development

Each emerging technology requires a scalable, elastic and high-capacity infrastructure platform like public cloud IaaS. In 2019, the top five IaaS providers accounted for 80 percent of the market -- that's up from 77 percent in 2018. Three-quarters of all IaaS providers exhibited growth in 2018.

AWS continued to lead the worldwide IaaS market with an estimated $20 billion of revenue in 2019 and 45 percent of the total market. Amazon leveraged its top spot in 2018 to build out its capabilities beyond the IaaS layer in the public cloud stack and maintain its position in 2019.

Azure remained in the second position within the market, gaining more than half of its nearly $8 billion in revenue coming from North America. Microsoft’s IaaS offering grew 57.8 percent in 2019, as they applied enterprise sales co-selling with other Microsoft cloud products and services.

The dominant IaaS provider in China, Alibaba Cloud, grew 62.4 percent in 2019 with revenue surpassing $4 billion -- that's up from $2.5 billion in 2018. Moreover, Alibaba will expand its cloud infrastructure and aim to offer cloud-based intelligent solutions to enable digital transformation.

China-based Tencent grew its IaaS offering by over 100 percent in 2019. It is the second-largest provider of cloud services in China, after Alibaba.

"As the cloud market matures, and its leaders experience natural market share erosion as a result, China-based providers such as Alibaba, Tencent and Huawei will start to gain more traction. It will also be hard for other providers to enter the China market given the country’s highly regulated environment," said Mr. Nag.

Google’s IaaS revenue grew from $1.3 billion in 2018 to $2.4 billion in 2019, experiencing 80.1 percent growth. Google’s cloud services focused on providing organizations with industry-specific solutions on robust computing infrastructure. North America accounts for nearly half of Google’s IaaS revenue.

Moving forward, Gartner will be combining the IaaS and platform as a service (PaaS) segments into a single, complementary platform offering -- entitled cloud infrastructure and platform services (CIPS).

The worldwide CIPS market grew 42.3 percent in 2019 to total $63.4 billion -- that's up from $44.6 billion in 2018. Amazon, Microsoft and Alibaba secured the top three positions in the CIPS market in 2019, while Tencent and Oracle were in a virtual tie for the number five position with 2.8 percent of the market.

Outlook for CIPS Market Growth Opportunities

"There will be a continued push of cloud spending as an outcome of the coronavirus pandemic," said Mr. Nag. "When enterprises were compelled to move their applications to the public cloud as a result of the pandemic, they realized the true benefits of public cloud and it is unlikely that they will change course."

According to the Gartner assessment, during the pandemic recovery and rebound phase, CIOs are recognizing 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.

Niche public cloud service providers will continue to seek out small pockets of large enterprise applications that they can pursue with some degree of success. That said, industry analysts must scrutinize niche cloud provider revenue reporting. Key growth trends must be reported accurately.

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