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Cloud infrastructure spending grew by 12.5% in Q1 2021 — IDC

Organizations accelerating their digital transformation, including migrating to the cloud, contributed to the 12.5% growth year over year in the first quarter of 2021 (1Q21) or $15 billion of cloud infrastructure.

According to the International Data Corp. (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Enterprise Infrastructure Tracker: Buyer and Cloud Deployment, spending was on compute and storage infrastructure products for cloud infrastructure, including dedicated and shared environments. On the other hand, investments in non-cloud infrastructure increased 6.3% year over year in 1Q21 to $13.5 billion.

The IDC said spending on shared cloud infrastructure increased 11.6% year over year in 1Q21, reaching $10.3 billion.

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“IDC expects shared cloud infrastructure spending to surpass non-cloud infrastructure spending in the near future,” the industry analyst firm in its media advisory. “Spending on dedicated cloud infrastructure increased 14.7% year over year in 1Q21 to $4.8 billion with 45.5% of this amount deployed on customer premises. IDC expects that cloud environments will continue to outpace non-cloud throughout its forecast.”

Non-cloud infrastructure

“As the market and the world slowly begins to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, sectors of the economy that had suffered the most revenue loss are returning to growth,” it said. “A lasting impact on IT infrastructure will be an increased reliance on cloud platforms for delivering commercial, educational, and social applications, as well as an intensified focus among organizations on business continuity and risk management, helping to drive digital transformation initiatives and increase usage of as-a-service delivery models.”

IDC is forecasting cloud infrastructure spending to grow 12.9% to $74.6 billion for 2021, while non-cloud infrastructure is expected to grow 2.7% to $58.5 billion after two years of declines. Shared cloud infrastructure is expected to grow by 12.2% year over year to $51.8 billion for the full year. Spending on dedicated cloud infrastructure is expected to grow 14.7% to $22.7 billion for the full year.

Service providers

As part of the new Worldwide Quarterly Enterprise Infrastructure Tracker: Buyer and Cloud Deployment, IDC tracks various categories of service providers and how much compute and storage infrastructure these service providers purchase, including both cloud and non-cloud infrastructure. The service provider categories IDC follows are cloud service providers, digital service providers, communications service providers, and managed service providers. In 1Q21, service providers as a group spent $15.5 billion on compute and storage infrastructure, growing 12.5% year over year, and accounting for 54.0% of total compute and storage infrastructure spending. IDC expects to compute and storage spending by service providers to reach $74.7 billion for 2021, growing at 11.1% year over year.

Spending on cloud infrastructure increased across most regions in 1Q21, with the highest annual growth rates in Canada (40.3%), China (PRC) (35.0%), and Asia/Pacific excluding Japan and China (APeJC) (28.8%). Western Europe grew 10.8%, the United States grew 4.5%, and Japan declined 1.1%. The smaller regions had mixed results and collectively grew 0.1%.

At the vendor level, all major vendors grew their cloud infrastructure revenue in 1Q21, with the highest growth rates belonging to Lenovo (38.2%) and Huawei (37.9%). Huawei, Lenovo, and HPE/H3C(a) each grew their market share compared to results from the prior year’s first quarter.