Cloud infrastructure spend to crack $90b and overtake non-cloud in 2022

Buyers other than cloud operators remain the dominant source of dollars

Analyst outfit IDC has predicted that the world's IT buyers will spend more on infrastructure intended for use in clouds than in other scenarios some time during 2022.

The firm's latest Worldwide Quarterly Enterprise Infrastructure Tracker: Buyer and Cloud Deployment, found that spending on compute and storage infrastructure products for cloud deployments jumped 17.2 percent year over year in the first quarter of 2022 (1Q22) to $18.3 billion.

To understand the rest of the analyst's forecasts, know that IDC uses the following definitions for clouds:

  • Shared (Public) cloud services are those shared among unrelated enterprises and/or consumers, open to a largely unrestricted universe of potential users, and designed for a market, not a single enterprise.
  • Dedicated (Private) cloud services are delivered as subscriptions or managed service agreements provided by cloud, colocation, outsourcing, or managed service providers to their enterprise customers.

IDC said spend on shared cloud infrastructure reached $12.5 billion in 1Q22, up 15.7 percent compared to a year ago. Spending on dedicated cloud infrastructure increased 20.5 percent year over year in 1Q22 to $5.9 billion. Of the total dedicated cloud infrastructure, 47.8 percent was deployed on customer premises.

By year's end, IDC expects $90.2 billion will have been spent on cloud infrastructure – 22 percent growth compared to 2021. Shared cloud infrastructure is predicted to grow at 24.3 percent to $63.9 billion for the full year, while dedicated cloud infrastructure will improve sales by 16.8 percent to $26.3 billion for the full year.

Non-cloud infrastructure will grow just 1.8 percent to $60.7 billion.

Hence the analyst's prediction that it "expects to see continuously strong demand for shared cloud infrastructure with spending expected to surpass non-cloud infrastructure spending in 2022 for the first time."

Another way to look at the analyst's predictions is to compare kit bought by cloud operators – Shared Cloud in IDC-speak – compared to hardware acquired for other purposes. The latter buyers will spend a $87 billion on non-cloud and Dedicated Cloud, still ahead of the $63.9 billion spent by Shared Clouds.

So while the cloud operating model – expressed in sales of either Shared or Dedicated cloud infrastructure – will account for most infrastructure spend, buyers other than Shared Cloud operators remain the dominant source of spending.

IDC last week also released its Worldwide Semiannual Public Cloud Services Tracker, which looks at how much was spent on Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Software as a Service – System Infrastructure Software (SaaS – SIS), and Software as a Service.

The firm's headline figure is $408.6 billion. Microsoft won 14.4 percent of that spend, ahead of AWS on 13.7 percent.

SaaS is the top source of cloud services spend, accounting for $177.8 billion, or 45.3 percent. Microsoft has a stronger SaaS portfolio than AWS, which explains how Redmond comes out on top of the overall cloud spend chart.

Cloud services spend grew 29 percent year over year, going from $316.7 billion to $406.6 billion.

IaaS sales grew 35.6 percent to reach $91.3 billion, while PaaS grew even faster with its 39.1 percent jump leading to $68.2 billion of sales in 2021. ®

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