You don’t need to be a financial genius to see the direction of the cloud market. It’s been big and it’s probably only going to get bigger as more companies shut down their data centers and move wholesale to the cloud.

We’ve seen that over the last couple of years as companies like Evernote, which chose Google and Atlassian, which chose, AWS, have shut down their private data centers and moved lock, stock and barrel to the cloud. Companies have many different reasons for doing so, but in the end it’s the advantages of cloud computing that drives them to make such a major change.

Looking at the latest data from Synergy Research, it’s clear that the infrastructure market is still expanding, growing 46 percent in the fourth quarter over the same time period in 2016. If you’re wondering who drove that growth, it was the usual suspects: Amazon, Alibaba, Microsoft, and Google. Alibaba in particular has been growing like gangbusters and has come on quickly to become a major player in the cloud infrastructure market.

In fact, the market was even stronger in that fourth quarter last year than even a long-time observer like Synergy expected. “We fully expected a year-end boost in cloud growth rates but the numbers came in a little stronger than anticipated, which says a lot about just how robust are the market drivers,” Synergy’s chief analyst and research director, John Dinsdale said in a statement.

More proof if you want it

If those numbers didn’t convince you that the cloud market is still growing briskly, consider a recent Wall Street Journal article about the expected sources of corporate spending in the coming year. If you thought the spending might be buoyed by last year’s federal tax cuts, that apparently isn’t how Morgan Stanley sees it. The firm surveyed 100 large-company CIOs in the US and Europe and found the spending increases are actually being driven by the cloud.

“According to the survey, 25 percent of total application workloads will be running in the cloud by the end of the year, up from 20 percent currently, and will increase to 44 percent by 2021,” The WSJ reported.

Some of that will be running on infrastructure services like AWS or Azure, but some percentage of it will also be software services running in the cloud Salesforce, Zendesk, Box, and Workday, still part of the cloud market, but a different category.

Regardless, it’s clear the amount of spending is going up and will continue to do so as more companies have a greater presence in the cloud. As that happens, growth will happen naturally. It’s hard to believe that the current trajectory can go on indefinitely, but it’s clear there is still plenty of room left for substantial growth and the major players will continue to benefit from it. 

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Photo: JuralMin on Pixbay. Used under CC0 Creative Commons license.

Posted by Ron Miller

Ron Miller is a freelance technology reporter and blogger. He is contributing editor at EContent Magazine and enterprise reporter at TechCrunch.

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