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Cloud now bigger than Dell, HPE, Lenovo, Cisco combined

$233bn revenue in 2019, says IDC, with the top five creaming a third of it

Global spend on cloud services hit $233.4bn in 2019, says analyst firm IDC, and the biggest five players accounted for a third of it and grew faster than the chasing pack.

IDC defines “cloud” as the combination of software-as-a-service, infrastructure-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service (SaaS, IaaS and PaaS). The firm rates AWS, Microsoft,, Google, and Oracle as the five leaders by revenue, suggesting they won more than a third of all revenue and grew it by 35 percent in 2019. By contrast, the entire cloud market grew by 26 percent.

By way of contrast, a third of $233.4bn is $77bn. Intel’s 2019 revenue was $71.9bn and IBM’s was $77.1bn. Or to look at it another way, global cloud spend surpassed the combined revenue of Cisco ($51.9bn), Dell ($90.6bn), HPE ($30.1bn) and Lenovo ($51.4bn), which collectively hauled in $224bn.

IDC found SaaS is the largest of its three cloudy segments, accounting for $122bn of spend (plus another $26bn for underlying infrastructure).

Here’s the data from IDC’s Worldwide Semiannual Public Cloud Services Tracker for H2 2019, with revenue in US$ billions.

Segment 2019 Revenue Market Share 2018 Revenue Market Share YoY growth
IaaS $49.0 21.00% $35.4 19.10% 38.40%
PaaS $35.9 15.40% $25.8 14.00% 38.80%
SaaS $148.5 63.60% $123.9 66.90% 19.80%
Totals $233.4 100% $185.2 100% 26.00%

Sharp-eyed readers may have noticed that while SaaS is the top category by spend, it is growing more slowly than IaaS and PaaS. IDC suggests SaaS will get a boost from the COVID-19 pandemic. The firm believes the plague will help IaaS and PaaS spend, too, but that its growth is now a secular trend as buyers turn to the cloud for the combination of flexible purchasing and resilience.

Which is why The Register mentioned Cisco, Dell, Lenovo and HPE above, because all have hardware-centric portfolios and are trying to find ways to sell it with cloud-like consumption options.

At least IBM has a cloud of its own, and Intel looks to still have many cloudy customers. ®

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