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Report: Who is leading the global cloud project race?
Fri, 23rd Jun 2023

IoT Analytics has published the Global Cloud Projects Report and Database 2023, which analyses 7,000 customer implementations of the largest cloud vendors, including a deep dive into IoT cloud projects.

"From our extensive research mapping 7,000 cloud projects worldwide, a fascinating narrative emerges," says Knud Lasse Lueth, CEO at IoT Analytics.

"AWS and Microsoft continue to hold the lion's share but their market footprint is different: Microsoft leads in EMEA, in Manufacturing, and with large corporates. AWS dominates in North America and together with Google leads in the largest of all cloud industries, ICT. 

"Our analysis provides a crucial snapshot of the current cloud landscape and offers intriguing insights into its future trajectory."

The cloud market reached $206 billion in 2022, fuelled by the COVID-19 pandemic, digitalisation, and SaaS adoption. A new analysis of 7,000 cloud implementations reveals distinctly different vendor footprints. 

AWS dominates North America, Microsoft excels in EMEA, Google appeals to smaller IT companies, Oracle has a strong South American presence, and Alibaba leads in China and Asia.

AI services are used in 14% of all projects; The average cloud project utilizes 4.5 different cloud services The Cloud Market in 2023  

Public cloud spending nearly doubled (+89%) from $109 billion in 2020 to $206 billion in 2022. This growth was fuelled by the COVID-19 pandemic, increased digitalisation efforts, and strong SaaS adoption. Although cloud growth rates have declined from the 40%+ levels in 2021 due to a slowing macroeconomic environment, nearly all major clouds continued to experience double-digit year-over-year (YoY) growth in calendar Q1 2023:
AWS grew 16% YoY, Microsofts Azure grew 27% YoY, Google Cloud increased by 28% YoY and Oracle's cloud services grew 54% YoY. Only Alibaba's Cloud segment declined. 

With cloud migrations still in progress, cloud modernisation in its early stages, and AI on the horizon, the cloud industry has the potential to become a  trillion-dollar business in the coming years.
Comparing AWS, Microsoft, Google, Oracle, and Alibaba:  One notable observation from the analysis is the uniqueness of each company's customer footprint.

1.  AWS: Strong presence in North America and the ICT industry  
AWS continues to dominate the cloud landscape, with customers often highlighting the comprehensiveness of its offering. The company has a strong presence in North America (47% of all AWS projects) and a large share of customers in the ICT industry (40%). 

Notable North American customers include Salesforce, Adobe, and Infor. For instance, Salesforce's public case study 
discusses their initial choice of AWS in 2016 and how the relationship evolved into a strategic partnership focused on technical alignment, joint development, enterprise transformation, data solutions, and sustainability. Manufacturing is the second-largest customer industry for AWS (e.g., Coca-Cola, and Nike), followed by finance & insurance (e.g., JP Morgan Chase), and retail. AWS has a well-balanced portfolio of both large enterprises and smaller companies.

AWS provided the following statement regarding the results of the global cloud project analysis 2023:
AWS, a leader in the global public cloud space, has the largest number of industry-specific use cases of all vendors of public cloud services analysed here. It is a testament to AWS deep industry experience, stemming from over 15 years of experience of working with customers from a broad spectrum of industries, supporting industry leaders such as BMW, Goldman Sachs, Georgia-Pacific, Moderna, Nike, Netflix, Siemens, Volkswagen and many more. 

In recent years, the company has also added industry-specific purpose-built services and solutions to its portfolio: In the manufacturing industry, for example, there are purpose-built AWS services such as AWS IoT TwinMaker for digital twin scenarios, or Amazon Lookout for Equipment for predictive maintenance scenarios. 

There are similar examples of purpose-built services for other industries, for example Amazon Just Walk Out for frictionless check-out in physical stores, or Amazon FinSpace for financial services data & analytics. AWS has continuously expanded its partner network and offers the largest community of partners to help customers at all stages of their cloud transformation journey
2.  Microsoft: Strong presence with large corporates and manufacturers, especially in EMEA  
Microsoft Azure holds a strong second position in the market and is particularly well-positioned with large corporates, many of which already use Microsoft software. EMEA is a significant strong point for Microsoft. 44% of all Microsoft cloud projects are in EMEA with a notable strong presence in Germany, the UK and the Netherlands. 

Examples of customers in this region include Bosch, Schneider Electric, and Uniper. Microsoft is well-versed in the manufacturing segment, with almost a quarter (24%) of their projects involving customers from this industry. For instance, Kuka AG 
migrated most of its IT operations in North and South America to the Azure cloud platform, resulting in increased speed, security, and scalability of their operations.

3.  Google: The choice for smaller companies, especially in the ICT industry  
While it may be a distant third, Google Cloud is favoured by smaller IT companies who perceive Google as the most innovative and developer-friendly option. Around 40% of projects involving small customers in the ICT industry are Google projects. Additionally, 68% of all Google Cloud projects are with smaller companies employing less than 1,000 employees. 

Google also has a strong presence in Latin America, including Brazil, Chile, and Argentina. Its customer base includes retail giant Carrefour, fintech Revolut, and semiconductor machinery manufacturer ASML. ASML leveraged Google Cloud and products like 
BigQuery, Google Kubernetes Engine and Cloud Datalab (now deprecated) to achieve a 40% improvement in overall engineering efficiency, including time to market.
4. Oracle: Diverse customer base with a strong footprint in South America  
Oracle, known for its database technology, has gained traction in cloud services by offering unique value propositions, particularly to its existing database and ERP customers. 

Oracle has a larger regional footprint in South America compared to other providers, with 15% of its cloud computing projects located in this region. This percentage is higher than those of Google (9%), Microsoft (5%), and AWS (2%). 

Across industries, the majority of Oracles projects fall within the ICT (43%) and manufacturing (16%) segments. Noteworthy Oracle customers from our list include Cognizant, NEC, and FedEx. For example, Cognizant utilised Oracle's Exadata Database on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure to manage over 24 terabytes of HR and finance data, enhancing its agility.
5. Alibaba: Strong presence in China and some other Asian countries  
Alibaba Cloud, the leading cloud provider in the APAC region, has made significant strides, particularly among Chinese and Asian businesses seeking to expand their digital presence. APAC accounts for 87% of Alibaba's projects, with 43% of them belonging to the ICT industry. 

When compared to the other four vendors, Alibaba has the lowest share of customers with more than 1,000 employees. Two notable large customers working with Alibaba include Ford and Casio. Casio collaborated with Alibaba to  improve  their marketing strategy, while Ford collaborated to  deliver customised digital solutions for Chinese customers.