Top cloud providers in 2020

Multi-cloud is both a selling point and an aspirational goal for enterprises. Companies are well aware of vendor lock-in and want to abstract their applications so they can be moved across clouds. The multi-cloud theme is being promoted among legacy vendors that have created platforms that can plug into multiple clouds often with a heavy dose of VMware or Red Hat. (See: Multi-Cloud: Everything you need to know about the biggest trend in cloud computing)

The game is about data acquisition. The more corporate data that resides in a cloud the more sticky the customer is to the vendor. It's no secret that cloud computing vendors are pitching enterprises on using their platforms to house data for everything from analytics to personalized experiences.

Top cloud providers in 2020


The cheap and easy storyline is that Microsoft Azure and AWS are on a collision course to be the top cloud service provider. The reality is that the two foes barely rhyme. Here's why:

There is still no publicly available data on Azure sales. Azure is the part of Microsoft's cloud business that most rhymes with AWS, but is buried in the commercial cloud. 
Commercial cloud is a roll-up of multiple services from Microsoft. Enterprises are likely to buy a buffet that includes Azure but isn't totally focused on it. That said, Microsoft's commercial cloud is on a $50 billion annual revenue run rate. 
Microsoft Azure benefits from its software-as-a-service footprint. The reality is that we could easily take Microsoft out of the IaaS category and put it in the SaaS section since most of the revenue is derived from Office 365, Dynamics and a bevy of other cloud services that are software-based over infrastructure. 
Nevertheless, Azure and its AI, machine learning, and history in the enterprise make it formidable. Azure has edge computing efforts.

The problem with that argument is that the cloud spending pie is big enough to make Google Cloud Platform an appealing business to a parent that rakes in money on advertising but desperately needs a second trick. According to Gartner, IaaS will see the fastest-growing public cloud spending at 24% in 2020 due to data center consolidation. The public cloud services market is forecast to grow 17% in 2020 to $266.4 billion, up from $227.8 billion in 2019, said Gartner. In addition, public cloud spending is becoming more concentrated among the big three IaaS providers. 


While Alibaba Cloud flies under the radar for customers that are primarily focused on the EU and US, companies operating in China may use it as a preferred cloud vendor. To that end, Alibaba Cloud is forging alliances with key enterprise vendors and is seen as a leading cloud service provider in Asia. 

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