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.