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Cloud spending hits new high in pandemic working world

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(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/bluebay)

Spending on cloud infrastructure grew hugely in the last quarter of 2020 as businesses around the world continued to invest in new remote working services.

The latest figures from analyst firm Canalys saw a 32 percent year-on-year increase in cloud infrastructure spending in Q4 2020 as investment reached $39.9bn - what it called the “largest quarterly expansion in dollar terms”

There was also a 10 percent quarter-on-quarter growth as providers such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud all enjoyed productive periods, despite some actually seeing business fall.

Overall cloud spending was reported at $142 billion in 2020 Q4, up from $107 billion in 2019, helped by huge growth in usage from services such as video conferencing that have mushroomed during the pandemic.

Canalys’ figures showed that Amazon’s AWS was the most successful global cloud provider, seeing a 28 percent year-on-year growth to hit $12.7 billion in revenues in Q4.

“It’s important to note that it grew more in one quarter, $2.78 billion, larger than the entire annual revenue of many cloud plays,” Canalys analyst Patrick Moorhead said.

“AWS is well on its way to creating an annualized, $50 billion revenue company. This makes AWS larger than Salesforce.com and SAP combined. Equally impressive is that AWS delivered over half of the company’s operating profit.”

AWS commanded 32 percent of the total cloud infrastructure spend, with Microsoft Azure at 20 percent. Google Cloud  on seven percent, and Alibaba with six percent.