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  • Paul Burgess

The cloud is SOARING - growing from $129B to $178B in one year

Over the last year, the 'cloud' added almost $50 billion in business, growing from $129 billion in 2020 to $178 billion this year, according to Synergy Research data. Canalys reports similar numbers.

As for the quarter, Synergy reports the market reached $50 billion, up 36% over the prior year. The big three — Amazon, Microsoft and Google — continue to grow at a remarkable rate, even as the market matures, taking advantage of that growth with their market strength.

Microsoft and Google are growing faster at similar rates, around 45% for the quarter, while Amazon is growing at just under 40%. The quarterly revenue numbers worked out to around $17 billion for Amazon, $10 billion for Microsoft and $5 billion for Google, all healthy and growing businesses.

This three horse race - between Amazon, Microsoft and Google - will also show how other historical figures in technology will lose relevance. There are also-rans, posers or just plan zombies out there who think because they can spell 'CLOUD' they mean something. Firms like:

  • IBM - the day after they bought Softlayer 9 years ago and have been running that into the ground.

  • OpenText talks about their cloud strategy as a platform to migrate all their acquired customers onto - with no real success stories. They mention the word 'cloud' in their latest annual report 259 times - with no real revenue or client successes.

  • Oracle and their desire to pull clients into their cloud options - to a fault. If you try to use AWS, Azure or GCP it because even more expensive.

  • Dell, Hewlett Packard and Lenovo are all trying to win that greater marketshare in a shrinking market.

  • Teradata fundamentally ported their on-prem technology to the cloud and called it 'Vantage'.

Another measure to consider is looking at employment trends over time. Linkedin has an option called 'Insights' that can be very telling.

Consider those companies who are 'investing for top-line/organic revenue growth' on the left with all net-new headcount growth (Amazon, Google and Snowflake in this example) -VERSUS- those who are 'driving for short-term profit growth' with stagnant-or-reduced employment on the right (Teradata, OpenText and IBM for this example). Teradata just had a big layoff and there is no lack of change in places like Opentext (with a ever revolving door of execs) and IBM (doing their annual 'reorg').

What you should do:

  • ENGAGE IN INTERESTING RESEARCH: I was extended an invitation to participate in some interesting research titled currently "3rd Annual State of Corporate Technology" open at " that looks well thought out and asks a lot of the right questions. Would recommend you consider answering these yourself as it is also tracking over time changes in strategy and opinions. Especially like the question "Please end this sentence - "We are looking to reduce our spend with…"  (click all that apply)"

  • INVESTING IN PEOPLE: If the best value, innovation and enterprise-ready needs are paramount, it is better to consider those organizations investing in people. The Linkedin Insights data is very telling - and if you have a Premium account you can do that to any organization yourself.

  • DON'T BUY FROM FAKES: Like a $29 Gucci purse, there are fakes out there talking 'cloud' where what the are really selling is a 'Managed Service' from yesteryear. Nothing elastic, innovative or interesting about it.

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