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Global Public Cloud Services Spending Tops $233.4B: Report

According to new data from IDC and Gartner, the public cloud services market is continuing to grow at a rate faster than ever before, with the top players seeing the most significant growth.

Demand for public cloud services has continued to grow, with five vendors seeing much of that growth.

Analyst firm IDC disclosed data from its Worldwide Semiannual Public Cloud Services Tracker on Aug. 18, providing new insights into how much the cloud grew in 2019. For the year, IDC reported that public cloud revenues totaled $233.4 billion globally, for a 26.0% year-over-year gain. The total figure is double what IDC reported for 2016, showing the rapid growth in cloud demand in recent years.

IDC identified the top five public cloud providers as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft,, Google and Oracle. Those five providers accounted for more than one-third of all public cloud spending and grew faster than the market overall, at a 35% year-over-year revenue growth clip.

"Cloud is expanding far beyond niche e-commerce and online ad-sponsored searches. It underpins all the digital activities that individuals and enterprises depend upon as we navigate and move beyond the pandemic," said Rick Villars, group vice president of Worldwide Research at IDC, in a statement. "Enterprises talked about cloud journeys of up to ten years. Now they are looking to complete the shift in less than half that time."

IaaS Growing Fast

While IDC's report examined the public cloud service market including infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS), Gartner took a focused look at IaaS.

According to Gartner data released on Aug. 10, the global market for IaaS hit $44.5 billion in 2019, up 37.3% over 2018. The top five IaaS providers according to Gartner are Amazon, Microsoft, Alibaba, Google and Tencent, which collectively represent 80% of the market.

Amazon holds a commanding market share lead with 45% of the market in 2019, with its closest competitor, Microsoft, holding a 17.9% market share.

2020 Cloud Growth Continues

While the Gartner and IDC reports highlighted how much cloud services grew in 2019, it's clear at this point that 2020 will be a year of even greater growth for public cloud. Gartner currently is forecasting growth of 6.3% in 2020 for the worldwide public cloud services market.

"There will be a continued push of cloud spending as an outcome of the coronavirus pandemic," said Sid Nag, research vice president at Gartner. "When enterprises were compelled to move their applications to the public cloud as a result of the pandemic, they realized the true benefits of public cloud, and it is unlikely that they will change course."

At the end of July, Synergy Research Group released its analysis of cloud spending for the second quarter of 2020. Cloud IaaS and PaaS revenue for the quarter surpassed $30 billion, according to Synergy Research, which is a $7.5 billion increase over the second quarter of 2019.

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