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The acceleration of digital transformation over the last 12 month, the rebound in some economies, in line with government stimuli, the roll-out of mass COVID-19 vaccination programs and subsequent easing of restrictions saw cloud infrastructure services spending to grow 35% to US$41.8 billion in the first quarter of 2021.

Overall, customer spending exceeded US$40 billion a quarter for the first time in Q1, with total expenditure nearly US$11 billion higher than in Q1 2020 and nearly US$2 billion more than in Q4 2020, according to market research firm Canalys data.

According to the report, Amazon Web Services (AWS) was the leading cloud service provider in Q1 2021, growing 32% on an annual basis to account for 32% of total spend.

Meanwhile, Microsoft Azure grew 50% for the third consecutive quarter, taking 19% market share in Q1 2021. Growth was boosted by cloud consumption and longer-term customer commitments enabled by investments in Azure Arc for hybrid-IT control plane management, Azure Synapse for data analytics, and AI as a platform.

Google Cloud maintained its momentum, benefiting from its Google One approach driving cross-sell and integration opportunities across its portfolio. Overall, it grew 56% in the latest quarter to account for a 7% market share.

Commenting on the findings, Blake Murray,  Canalys Research Analyst, said, “Cloud emerged as a winner across all sectors over the last year, basically since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and the implementation of lockdowns. Organizations depended on digital services and being online to maintain operations and adapt to the unfolding situation.”

“Though 2020 saw large-scale cloud infrastructure spending, most enterprise workloads have not yet transitioned to the cloud. Migration and cloud spend will continue as customer confidence rises during 2021. Large projects that were postponed last year will resurface, while new use cases will expand the addressable market,” he added.

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