Coronavirus Crisis Having ‘Mildly Positive Impact’ On Cloud Sales: Synergy Research

The largest infrastructure services providers reported Q1 financials that suggest the global pandemic actually boosted their already fast-growing businesses. Amazon and Microsoft own half the rapidly growing market, according to the latest Synergy Research analysis.


COVID-19 has ravaged the global economy, but the pandemic actually looks to have boosted the business of public cloud providers as their customers rapidly adopted remote work environments and automated back-end IT systems.

The cloud infrastructure and platform services market grew at “truly impressive rates” in the first quarter of 2020, even as the overall leaderboard stayed largely the same, according to a report released Thursday by Synergy Research.

“While COVID-19 is having a devastating impact on communities and economies around the world, indications are that it is having a mildly positive impact on the cloud infrastructure services market,” said John Dinsdale, Synergy’s chief analyst, in the report.

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Cloud giants including Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and IBM recently released financials showing strong sales in the first quarter for their Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service and hosted private cloud offerings.

While the crisis has caused some “logistical issues that cloud providers are having had to navigate,” it has also highlighted the value-proposition of their services.

“Public cloud is providing flexibility and a safe haven for enterprises that are struggling to maintain normal operations,” Dinsdale said. “Anecdotal evidence” suggests COVID-19 tailwinds for the industry.

The market grew to $29 billion in the first three months of 2020, with half of that revenue seen by the two leaders: Amazon Web Services, which ended Q1 with 32 percent market share; and Microsoft Azure with 18 percent.

Synergy estimated total market revenue for the trailing 12 months at $104 billion.

Discounting the much-smaller contribution of hosted private cloud, the overall market saw 39 percent year-over-year growth in Q1.

After AWS and Azure, Google sits in a distant third place with 8 percent market share, followed by Alibaba with 5 percent, and Salesforce with 3 percent solely resulting from its PaaS portfolio.

Oracle, Tencent and Rackspace maintained 2 percent share.

“Pandemic? What pandemic? Growth in the cloud market continued unabated in Q1,” the Synergy report said. Cloud “has been pretty much immune” to the economic devastation caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

“The main result has been that yet more workloads have been pushed on to public clouds,” Dinsdale said.