Gartner: Amazon Web Services on top of the public cloud, as Alibaba gains the most ground

The top four major public cloud vendors all grew faster than the overall market last year, according to a new market share assessment released by Gartner Wednesday, and the overall market is not exactly plodding along.

Just over $22 billion was spent worldwide on infrastructure-as-a-service during 2016, an increase of 31.4 percent compared to 2015. As anyone who clicked on this article is aware, Amazon Web Services is on top of this market by a large margin with 44.2 percent of the market in 2016, up from 39.8 percent the previous year.

Microsoft Azure remains in second place with 7.1 percent of the market, but it posted 61.1 percent growth from 2015 to 2016, according to Gartner. Alibaba more than doubled its cloud infrastructure revenue in 2016 to take the third place slot, keeping Google in fourth place despite posting 100 percent growth itself.

The numbers underscore both how mature this market is, with AWS having enjoyed huge market share for years now despite huge investments from rivals, and how much potential there still is for the Big Four vendors to grow. At our GeekWire Cloud Tech Summit this past June, Morgan Stanley’s Brian Nowak predicted that public cloud revenue would continue to grow strongly into 2021, and when you factor in platform-as-a-service and software-as-a-service from the Big Four and others, it’s pretty clear there’s a whole lot of money left to be made in cloud computing.

This growth, of course, comes at the expense of traditional IT vendors like IBM, which was relegated to the “Others” category in Gartner’s report. And despite making a lot of noise in 2017, Oracle had little to show for its public cloud infrastructure efforts in 2016.