Cloud Market Share 2016: AWS, Microsoft, IBM, Google

When it comes to public cloud market share, Amazon Web Services (AWS) continues to lead the pack, followed by Microsoft, IBM, Google and Salesforce, according to Q4 2015 data from Synergy Research Group.


Public Cloud Market Share as of January 2016

As 2015 gave way to 2016, Synergy says the public cloud market share wars looked like this:

  • Amazon Web Services, 31 percent
  • Microsoft, 9 percent
  • IBM Cloud and SoftLayer, 7 percent
  • Google, 4 percent
  • Salesforce, 4 percent

Growth among the five biggest public cloud providers also remains rapid. The Q4 2015 growth rates, according to Synergy, were:

  • Microsoft, 124 percent
  • Google Cloud Platform, 108 percent
  • Amazon Web Services, 63 percent
  • IBM Cloud and SoftLayer, 57 percent
  • Salesforce, 40 percent

At first glance, those are healthy numbers for each of the five biggest public cloud providers. But take a closer look and the overall numbers suggest:

  • In terms of raw dollars, Amazon is still growing faster than its rivals.
  • No. 2 player Microsoft is extending its lead over No. 3 player IBM.
  • No. 4 player Google could close the gap with No. 3 player IBM this year.
  • No. 5 player Salesforce — while extremely healthy in the SaaS market — like lacks the IaaS scale needed to catch up with the other four players.

2016 Public Cloud Channel Trends

Among the channel trends to watch in 2016:

  • Amazon Web Services’ network of MSPs continues to grow, and is starting to produce managed services providers that generate $10 million or more in AWS-related business per year.
  • Microsoft will increasingly connect the partner dots between Office 365 and Azure. Microsoft also is activating new services like an Internet of Things extension for Azure.
  • IBM SoftLayer is working with a growing mix of MSP-friendly ISVs, including Continuum Managed Services.
  • Salesforce is building out an IoT platform while also acquiring channel-friendly sales tools like SteelBrick.

Cloud Alternatives

Of course, the public cloud has additional alternatives. ChannelE2E continues to monitor key names like Rackspace, Oracle Cloud, CenturyLink, Verizon, VMware vCloud Air, CSC and channel-friendly cloud providers like Artisan Infrastructure.


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    Steve Stewart:

    I think Joe Pan. is hanging out with teenagers too much: “No. 5 player Salesforce — while extremely healthy in the SaaS market — like lacks the IaaS scale needed to catch up with the other four players.” Kind of reminds me of this conversation at my house; ” So Dad , like, we need a pick up at the mall at, like, 5, but we need to go to Mackenzie’s house for a party until, like 9. Cool?” Like, – Happy Friday!

      Joe Panettieri:

      Like, um… it went like this: I meant to write “likely” rather than “like”

      But, um… we’ll leave the typo in place because, like, it has sort of grown on me.


        So funny! I had to re-read, because I read it as “likely” and missed the fun typo.

    Steve Thom:

    In the words the words of Chris Fry, “if you aren’t a millennial, dress like one”. Or write like one.

      Joe Panettieri:

      Hey Steve: I was in the crowd when Chris uttered those words. Classic.

    aws training:

    Thank you very much ! You have cleared out the difference between them.

      Joe Panettieri:

      aws training: Can you share your name, and have you bet your entire business on AWS cloud training? Feel free to email me details: [email protected]


    Then what is the cloud market share for Oracle Corporation

      Joe Panettieri:

      Most of the cloud market share reports point specifically to IaaS — so Oracle is a small factor there so far. However, Oracle CEO Mark Hurd has asserted that only two cloud companies will dominate SaaS suites. Clearly, he things Oracle will be one of them. Stay tuned for an update on the strategy this Thursday (Dec. 1 2016), when Hurd will announce the NetSuite integration strategy.

    AJ Singh:

    It’s interesting to see the gap in percentages between the top player – AWs and the second in line. More than 3 times!
    No wonder why so many products we use were dead in the water or barely breathing the day the AWS outage happened.

      Joe Panettieri:

      AJ: Good point. It reminds me a bit of desktop (Windows easily outdistanced MacOS) and mobile (Android easily outdistances iOS) in terms of pure market share.


        Can we get an update of the Cloud wars for H2 2017?

    Joe Panettieri:

    Hey Patrick: Our 2017 blog about cloud market share is here. However, we can also write a 2H 2017 blog. Watch for it in Sept since, by that point, Q3 will be wrapping up and more data points will be available.

    Also: Former InformationWeek Editor in Chief Bob Evans writes an ongoing blog about the cloud wars. Bob has also worked for Oracle and SAP, which he always discloses to readers. I don’t always agree with Bob’s analysis but it has a big, growing following on LinkedIn and has also surfaced on Forbes. Disclosure: I worked for InformationWeek in the early 1990s and my time there briefly overlapped with Bob’s leadership.


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