Report: AWS Azure, Alibaba and Alibaba Caused a Pandemic Cloud Boom

Despite slowing growth, Amazon Web Services (AWS), was the clear leader in last year’s IaaS public cloud market.
This is according to Gartner Inc.’s “Market Share: IT Services Worldwide 2020” report. According to the research firm, the IaaS market had grown 40.7 percent over the previous year to $64.3 billion at the close of pandemic-ridden 2020.
Gartner said that the gangbusters’ growth was due to many factors, including hybrid technologies and organizations that rely heavily on cloud services because their employees moved to remote work during the COVID-19 crisis.
“Hyperscale providers continue to build distributed cloud-edge solutions that extend public cloud’s reach to private and on-premise locations. This addresses the needs of organizations related to data sovereignty, workload portability, and network latency,” Sid Nag, Gartner research vice president, stated in a prepared statement. This fact, along with the reliance on public cloud by most organizations during the pandemic, drove another doubling of digital market growth in 2020.
There were few surprises on the 2020 public cloud leader board. The market’s perennial leader AWS commanded 40.8 percent. Close behind were Microsoft Azure (19.7%), Alibaba (9.5%), Google Cloud Platform (6.1%) and Huawei (4.2%).
AWS’s growth in 2020 was slower than its competitors. Any growth “primarily reflect increased customer usage,” Gartner stated. Azure, AWS’ closest competitor, grew 59.2 per cent year over year. This was due to industries moving their mission-critical applications to cloud computing.
Gartner stated that the global healthcare crisis and disruptions in workplace environments during the pandemic period drove increased demand from Microsoft Azure customers to migrate mission critical workloads such as healthcare applications with AI assisted bots and digital twins in manufacturing to Microsoft Azure.
Huawei, however, blew the market leaders out of water with its 202.8% year-over-year growth and pushed it into the Top 5 for first time. According to Nag, Huawei’s success has been fueled by China’s rapidly growing demand for cloud service and its strategic decision to invest heavily in their cloud services business.
Nag stated that post-pandemic, public cloud providers’ success will depend on their willingness and ability to innovate in “cloud adjacent” areas such as artificial intelligence, edge, and 5G.
Nag stated that the era of CIOs investing discretely in cloud IaaS or platform as a Service (PaaS), is over. “CIOs want to invest in technologies that address their complicated and emerging use cases.”