In the Cloud Wars, COVID-19 Forces Focus
April 13, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic is forcing all companies – big and small — to focus on their strategic priorities. Case in point, last week Microsoft [MSFT] froze hiring across the company except for strategic areas and specifically their cloud offering, Azure.

The cloud wars have been raging for several years now and the three dominant players account for 67% of global market share as of Q3 2019 according to Synergy Research Group.  Amazon Web Services (AWS) held 39%, Microsoft Azure held 19% and Google Cloud Platform held 9%.  While AWS is clearly the “Cloud King” their competitors are not relenting in their fight for market share.  For example, Microsoft Azure has gained more popularity than AWS among 100+ CIOs of top international firms according to a recent survey by Goldman Sachs.  Google Cloud is a “new” player in the space but it is witnessing explosive growth.  Outside of the Big Three, players like IBM, Oracle and SalesForce, not to mention the myriad of smaller niche players, are staking their claim in the space as well.

While companies like Zoom [ZM] and Slack [WORK] have been more talked about during the pandemic, the infrastructure cloud companies arguably have the most to gain. As enterprises around the world are now forced to rethink their operations including how and where their employees will work going forward, and how to be more resilient than ever. Those cloud providers that are able to best focus their offerings and drive adoption during the pandemic and the inevitable follow-on enterprise transformation will be tomorrow’s winners.

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