Canalys: Cloud infrastructure spending grew 32% to $39 billion in Q4 2020

The global cloud services infrastructure market grew to $39.9 billion in Q4 2020, representing a 32% year-on-year (YoY) increase and 10% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) increase.

The figures from Canalys come in a seven day period where the “big three” cloud providers revealed their quarterly earnings, with Amazon’s AWS, Microsoft’s Azure, and Alphabet’s Google Cloud reporting record sales, though growth slowed in some cases.

While cloud services infrastructure was already a major growth industry, the global pandemic has accelerated this over the past year, with each quarter recording sharp inclines on the previous. The last three-month period once again represented the “largest quarterly expansion in dollar terms,” according to Canalys, driven by remote work and consumer services such as online gaming and music streaming.

Looking at the full calendar year, Canalys figures show that cloud spending hit $142 billion, up one-third from the $107 billion figure a year previous.

It’s worth noting that this growth has hugely benefited companies that operate on the cloud, including virtual video conferencing and remote collaboration tools such as Zoom which have been on a tear.

Up front

Amazon’s AWS continues to lead the field, with revenues hitting $12.7 billion in Q4, up 28% on the corresponding period a year earlier. Compared to its 34% growth in Q4 2019, things aren’t moving as fast as they once were, however analyst Patrick Moorhead says that Amazon still “had a great quarter,” even if it’s growth is stalling.

“It’s important to note that it grew more in one quarter, $2.78 billion, larger than the entire annual revenue of many cloud plays,” Moorhead said. “AWS is well on its way to creating an annualized, $50 billion revenue company. This makes AWS larger than and SAP combined. Equally impressive is that AWS delivered over half of the company’s operating profit.”

Above: Q4 2020 cloud infrastructure services spend

AWS now commands 32% of total cloud infrastructure spend, compared to 20% for Microsoft Azure, 7% for Google Cloud, and 6% for Alibaba.


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