To no one’s surprise, Amazon Web Services maintains its lead in the worldwide cloud infrastructure services market, according to the latest analysis released Monday from research outfit Canalys.
AWS commanded a 31 percent share of the market in the first quarter of 2017, though its main rivals Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. both saw superior revenue growth, at 74 percent and 93 percent, respectively. In contrast, AWS’s revenue grew by just 43 percent, while fourth-place IBM Corp. saw revenue rise 38 percent.
Overall, the cloud infrastructure services market grew by 42 percent from a year ago to top $11.4 billion, Canalys said.
“Competition for enterprise customers is intensifying among leading cloud service providers, which are investing heavily to secure key national and global accounts,” said Canalys Research Analyst Daniel Liu. “Timing is crucial, as many large accounts are assessing, formulating and executing strategies to move existing workloads and infrastructure to the cloud, and develop new types of workloads as part of digital transformation initiatives.”
One new avenue cloud providers are trying to explore is the channel, and especially the mid-market opportunities, said Canalys Senior Analyst Jordan De Leon. He noted that the channel has “become integral to winning in the enterprise with top cloud players focusing on channel expansion plans.”
De Leon said Microsoft’s incredible growth was due to its ability to convert its enormous enterprise client base into Azure customers. Many leading enterprise vendors are already building on Azure Stack, Microsoft’s upcoming, on-premises private cloud solution, to offer hybrid solutions to their customers, Canalys said.
Meanwhile, AWS has established its own fast-growing channel program that Canalys says is key to helping it win global clients. As for Google, it recently revamped its partner program in a bid to catch up with AWS and Microsoft.
“It has made progress toward meeting the technology and feature requirements of large enterprise customers,” De Leon said. “But to rival the others, it needs to demonstrate its enterprise readiness and enhance its credibility. To achieve this, it needs to sustain investment in both technology and go-to-market, and continue to highlight key customer wins.”