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Worldwide public cloud services market revenue totaled $312 billion in 2020

Public cloud services proved to be a critical necessity at the onset of the pandemic as organizations either started or accelerated their digital transformation. As the International Data Corp. (IDC) reported, public cloud grew 24.1% year over year in 2020 with revenues totaling $312 billion.

The revenues came from the top five public cloud service providers Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft, Salesforce.com, Google, and Oracle and across all public cloud services markets such as a Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), System Infrastructure Software as a Service (SISaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS).

The top providers captured 38% of the worldwide total revenue and growing 32% year over year, according to IDC. Microsoft now shares the top position with AWS after expanding its portfolio of SaaS and SISaaS.

Worldwide public cloud services market totaled $233.4B in 2019

Cloud IT infrastructure revenue grew 9.4% in Q3 2020

“Access to shared infrastructure, data, and application resources in public clouds played a critical role in helping organizations and individuals navigate the disruptions of the past year,” said Rick Villars, group vice president, Worldwide Research at IDC. “In the coming years, enterprises’ ability to govern a growing portfolio of cloud services will be the foundation for introducing greater automation into business and IT processes while also becoming more digitally resilient.”

Cloud foundation

While the overall public cloud services market grew 24.1% in 2020, consistent with the past four years, the IaaS and PaaS segments have consistently grown at much faster rates. This highlights the increasing reliance of enterprises on a cloud foundation built on cloud infrastructure, software-defined data, compute and governance solutions as a Service, and cloud-native platforms for application deployment for enterprise IT internal applications. IDC expects spending on foundational cloud services (especially IaaS and PaaS) to continue growing at a higher rate than the overall cloud market as resilience, flexibility, and agility guide IT platform decisions.

“The high pace of growth in PaaS, IaaS, and SISaaS, which combined account for about half of the public cloud services market, reflects the demand for solutions that accelerate and automate the development and delivery of modern applications,” said Lara Greden, research director, Platform as a Service. “As organizations adopt DevOps approaches and align according to value streams, we are seeing PaaS, IaaS, and SISaaS solutions become increasingly adopted and, at the same time, grow in the range of services and thus value they provide. Innovations in edge and IoT use cases are also contributing to the faster rates of growth in these markets.”

“SaaS applications is the largest and most mature segment of public cloud with 2020 revenues of $148 billion. Organizations across industries hastened the replacement of legacy business applications with a new breed of SaaS applications that is data-driven, intuitive, composable, and ideally suited for more distributed cloud architectures. Organizations looking for industry-specific applications can choose from a growing assortment of vertical applications. The SaaS apps market is dominated by a longtail of providers that account for 65% of the total market,” said Frank Della Rosa, research director, SaaS and Cloud Software.

Looking at the segment results, a combined view of IaaS, SISaaS, and PaaS spending is relevant because it represents the foundational set of services that end customers and SaaS companies consume when running, modernizing, building, and governing applications on shared public clouds. In the combined IaaS, SISaaS, and PaaS market, the top 5 companies (Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Google, Alibaba, and IBM) captured over 51% of global revenues. But there continues to be a healthy long tail, representing nearly half the market total. These are companies with targeted use case-specific PaaS services or cross-cloud compute, data, or network governance services. The long tail is even more pronounced in SaaS, where customers growing focus on specific outcomes ensures that over two-thirds of the spending is captured outside the top 5.