New information from analyst firm Gartner shows Amazon Web Services (AWS) continues to be the dominant cloud company. However, Microsoft's Azure is growing quickly and making inroads to Amazon. In turn, Google Cloud is also enjoying growth as the fourth placed provider on the market.
I do not necessarily agree with the general narrative that Azure is catching AWS, or that Google is catching Azure. Still, it is clear from Gartner's latest data that all companies are doing well within their own right.
The overall market for Worldwide Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) grew 29.5 percent in 2017. Overall revenue grew from $18.2 billion in 2016 to $23.5 billion last year.
Gartner says cloud adoption is happening more quickly and by 2025, 80 percent of organizations will have shut their traditional datacenters. This suggests over the next seven years cloud adoption will skyrocket and become the norm as the current figure is at 10 percent.
A name we do not often discuss in the cloud market is Alibaba. The Chinese company is actually the third-place vendor for cloud infrastructure. Along with AWS (1st), Microsoft (2nd), Alibaba and Google (4th) represent 73 percent of the total IaaS market.
Amazon continues to be the dominant leader in the market with $12.2 billion in revenue, an increase of 25 percent. As for Microsoft's Azure, it reached $3.1 billion during 2017.
We often see reports that suggest Microsoft Azure is eating into the lead AWS has achieved. While the hard data shows there is some growth against AWS, it does not seem significant to suggest Azure can catch Amazon.
I have often argued on these pages that each company is fairly secure in their market position. For example, Microsoft will not catch Amazon and Alibaba will not catch Microsoft. That's because there simply seems enough cloud business to go around. The market is an interesting situation where market leaders are definitely competing but may not need to win to be hugely successful.