Half-year cloud market tracker data highlights soaring demand for IaaS and PaaS

Spending on cloud technologies has increased by 25% year-on-year to top $235bn in the first half of 2021, fuelled by growing demand for cloud infrastructure services, according to data from Synergy Research Group.

The IT market watcher’s half-yearly cloud ecosystem market tracker shows that IT suppliers specialising in the provision of infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and private cloud offerings experienced the highest growth during the first six months of 2021.

“First-half revenue from these services grew by 37% from 2020,” said Synergy in a research note. “Enterprise SaaS [software-as-a-service] revenues grew by 24%, while spending on IT hardware and software for public, private and hybrid infrastructure grew by 16%. Rounding out the picture, cloud provider spending on colocation, leasing and datacentre construction grew by 17%.”

The analyst house said demand for cloud services across all segments was continuing to grow strongly, with revenue generated by cloud-related services now more than double that made on sales from cloud infrastructure hardware and software.

To this point, during the first half of 2021, Synergy said more than $70bn was spent on the hardware and software used to kit out cloud infrastructure environments, with the amount being invested in public cloud environments markedly bigger than that used to create private deployments.

“Infrastructure investments by cloud service providers helped them to generate over $150bn in revenues from cloud infrastructure services and enterprise SaaS,” said Synergy.

The analyst firm predicts that cloud service revenues will double in size in a little under four years, with the likes of Microsoft, Amazon, Salesforce and Google set to be the main beneficiaries of these trends.

“Across the whole cloud ecosystem, companies that featured the most prominently were Microsoft, Amazon, Salesforce, Dell, Google and IBM. Other major players included Cisco, Adobe, Oracle, VMware, SAP, HPE, Alibaba, Inspur and Huawei. In aggregate, these companies accounted for well over half of all cloud-related revenues,” the research note stated.

John Dinsdale, chief analyst at Synergy Research Group, said the half-year data served to highlight the growing hold that cloud continues to have on the wider IT landscape.

“While a rising tide lifts all boats, the companies doing particularly well are those which don’t have boat anchors of large, legacy, non-cloud markets,” he said.

“Ten years ago, companies like Amazon, Salesforce and Google were hardly present in enterprise IT, but are now a major force in the market,” added Dinsdale. “Microsoft is also particularly noteworthy. It has had a large enterprise presence for many years but has transformed itself into being the leading cloud player, based on revenues from the whole ecosystem.”