Amazon, already an online retailing behemoth, can also take credit for revolutionizing the way businesses acquire and pay for their IT resources nowadays. Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon's cloud computing unit, remains the cloud vendor to beat, in spite of growing competition from major rivals in recent years.
The market for cloud computing solutions continues to expand at a rate of 40 percent per year, according to the latest data from Synergy Research Group. Each quarter, the cloud infrastructure service market, which includes IaaS (infrastructure-as-a-service), PaaS (platform-as-a-service) and hosted private clouds) clears 12 billion in worldwide sales, according to the analyst group.
In the meantime, Microsoft, Google and Alibaba are making big gains, but even these heavy hitters are having a tough time trying to chip away at Amazon's hold on the market.
"Microsoft, Google and Alibaba all continue to grow at truly impressive rates, but you have to feel a bit sorry for them as market leader AWS continues to nudge up its market share despite them," said John Dinsdale, chief analyst and research director at Synergy Research Group, in a research note sent to Datamation. "It remains almost three times the size of its nearest rival and larger than its next five competitors combined. The cloud market is continuing to consolidate around a small group of hyperscale cloud providers."
IBM's leadership in the hosted private cloud services segment has helped the venerable IT company maintain its third-place position, behind Microsoft and ahead of Google. Oracle's cloud pivot is showing results, noted Synergy. Salesforce and Rackspace, although niche players, help round out top eight.
And the market has nowhere to go but up.
Gartner recently predicted that the public cloud services will surpass the $400 billion mark in 2020, compared to an estimated $260.2 billion this year. Much of that growth will be driven by businesses turning to SaaS (software-as-a-service) solutions.
"SaaS [software as a service] revenue is expected to grow 21 percent in 2017 to reach $58.6 billion. The acceleration in SaaS adoption can be explained by providers delivering nearly all application functional extensions and add-ons as a service," stated the IT market analyst group. "This appeals to users because SaaS solutions are engineered to be more purpose-built and are delivering better business outcomes than traditional software is."