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Q1 cloud growth lifts AWS, Azure, and Google

34% jump shows smaller businesses are catching on and driving investment, says Canalys

Sales of cloud infrastructure services are still expanding by roughly a third every quarter – despite the maturing market – and in Q1 they leaped 34 percent to hit $55.9 billion.

According to tech research firm Canalys, cloud spending was around $2 billion more than in the previous quarter and $14 billion more than in Q1 2021. The top three cloud service providers – AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud – added 42 percent in sales collectively over the last year as their share of the market hit 62 percent.

Although it is more than 16 years since AWS launched as a commercial cloud service, base market growth seems unabated.

Year-on-year growth of the global cloud market has not dipped below 30 percent in the last four years.

"Cloud has continued to be a hot market and transformation strategies are emphasizing digital resiliency to face the market challenges of today and tomorrow," said Canalys research analyst Blake Murray. "To be effective in resiliency planning, customers are turning to channel partners with the technical and consulting skills to help them effectively embrace hyperscaler cloud services."

Canalys is a channel consultancy and so likes to bang that drum hard.

While big businesses are already investing in the cloud, small businesses are investing more, Canalys argues. Meanwhile, infrastructure hardware shortages and the possibility of hardware price inflation has caused bigger businesses to continue to spend on the cloud.

AWS remains the biggest cloud service provider; accounting for one dollar in every three spent on cloud services, it is growing annually at 37 percent.

Azure was the second-largest infrastructure-as-a-service provider in Q1, with 21 percent market share. The Microsoft cloud factory grew 46 percent in Q1 while doubling the number of Azure contracts over $100 million compared with Q1 last year.

Google Cloud was the fastest growing of the top three, increasing by 54 percent in the latest quarter, but still only accrued a market share of 8 percent, according to Canalys. Its growth comes at a cost, though. The Chocolate Factory is trying to slim down operating losses in its cloud business, which reached $931 million in Q1.

The report also notes the explosion in systems integrators for the cloud with Accenture, Atos, Deloitte, HCL Technologies, TCS, Kyndryl, Tech Mahindra, and Wipro leading the pack.

"As the use cases for cloud infrastructure services expand so does the potential complexity, and we see that hybrid and multi-cloud deployments are commonplace in the market," said Canalys research analyst Yi Zhang. "The hyperscalers are investing in rapid channel development and partners are responding as the opportunities grow." ®

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