Publish Date: 25-Jun-2020
Whether its foundation, applications, services, products, software, or even an operating system, everything is moving to the cloud. Thus, businesses are investing billions of dollars in cloud migration services.
Cloud computing is a kind of web-based computing that enables organizations and individuals to use computing resources, including databases, storage, data processing, events, services, virtual machines, messaging, and pay-as-you-go. The services offered by cloud often improve upon older ones, just like the pay-as-you-go model, that charges for resources as they are being used. In case you do not use any resources, the payment is not required, which is not the case with traditional computing. Therefore, it is a more efficient way of delivering computing resources.
Cloud computing has grown over the last ten years. As such, organizations are increasingly shifting from traditional software models to different cloud services. At present, the majority of top cloud computing businesses offer all of these services. Amazon, Inc., and Microsoft are the two leaders that provide cloud computing services, followed by Google, Alibaba, and IBM.
According to Straits Research's latest report on the cloud computing market, the overall market accounted for over USD 210 billion in terms of value in 2019 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 16.9% during the forecast period, 2020–2027. The top ten cloud computing companies globally are briefly discussed below, with an emphasis on their recent developments.
Amazon, Inc. is a U.S.-based multinational technology company that specializes in e-commerce, cloud computing, AI, and digital streaming. It is known as one of the Big Four tech companies, along with Microsoft, Google, and Apple. Amazon Web Services (AWS), launched in the year 2002, is the world's most inclusive and broadly adopted cloud computing platform. AWS offers over 165 fully-featured services from data centers globally and is presently used by millions of customers.
In February 2020, AWS completed the acquisition of TeamSQL, Inc. — a data visualization and data processing company — to enhance its machine learning (ML) capabilities within the cloud data warehouse. For the fiscal year 2019, the company's revenue accounted for USD 33 billion.
Microsoft is a U.S.-based multinational technology company that develops, manufactures, licenses, supports, and sells software, electronics, computers, and other tech services. Valued over USD 1 trillion and reporting over USD 125 billion in revenues in FY2019, the company's portfolio includes several products, such as Microsoft Azure, the cloud computing platform. As per specialists, the revenue of Microsoft Azure is expected to stand between USD 33 billion to USD 35 billion, making it one of the most profitable cloud platforms in the world.
Microsoft Azure is used by companies and developers to build, test, deploy, and manage applications and services. The platform offers hundreds of services in a wide range of categories such as the Internet of Things (IoT), AI and Machine Learning, Mixed Reality, Analytics, Databases, Blockchain, Databases, DevOps, Integration, Management, Identity, Media, Mobile, Microsoft Azure Stack, Security, Web, and a mix of Developer Tools.
Over the years, the tech firm has acquired several small- and large-scale companies — for example, its 2019 acquisition of cloud storage migration company Mover, to enhance Microsoft 365's file migration capabilities. At present, the company has announced an agreement to acquire MetaSwitch Networks, to support its cloud services.
Google LLC is a U.S.-based multinational technology conglomerate that offers several internet-based services and products, including cloud computing solutions, online ad technologies, software, hardware, and a search engine. Just like AWS and Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud offers services in different categories such as AI and machine learning, compute, database, identity, data visualization, security, and DevOps, to name a few. Google offers its Cloud services in 20 regions, 61 availability zones, and more than 200 countries.
In February 2020, Google completed the acquisition of a leading cloud computing company Locker, which is regarded as one of the most significant cloud computing acquisitions. In FY2019, the company reported revenues of almost USD 161.85 billion, of which Google Cloud contributed nearly USD 8 billion.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is a Chinese multinational technology conglomerate that specializes in technology, e-commerce, retail, and the Internet. Since its establishment in 2009, Alibaba Cloud is recognized as the largest cloud provider in China. Initially, it began as Alibaba's own e-commerce platform, but now it is made public. Alibaba Cloud offers its services in various categories, including cloud communication, elastic computing, database management services, analytics, data technology, security and monitoring, storage and CDN, domains and websites, media services, Apsara Stack, and the IoT.
Alibaba offers its Cloud services in 19 regions and 56 zones globally. Alibaba Cloud's revenue for 2019 was USD 4.5 million. In October 2019, the company acquired Chinese IDaaS startup IDsManager to strengthen its customer experience capabilities.
IBM is an American multinational technology conglomerate that provides cloud computing solutions, along with a range of other high-technology services and products. IBM has been at the forefront of business technology since the 1920s and offers a suite of cloud computing services for businesses of all sizes. For the fiscal year 2019, the company reported revenues of almost USD 80 billion.
IBM provides a wide range of services in the form of Cognitive Computing, Blockchain, and the Internet of Things (IoT). These services are built on the foundation of IBM's AI and cloud platforms — Bluemix and Watson. Both the platforms have emerged as the crucial differentiating factors for the company. IBM Watson is the end-product of decades of research from the company in the fields of ML and AI, that primarily focuses on the advanced use cases concerning data and analytics. On the other hand, Bluemix delivers PaaS and IaaS capabilities.
In October 2018, IBM announced the acquisition of Red Hat — a leading multinational software company — would enhance the capabilities and credibility to the company in hybrid cloud space, which then-CEO Ginni Rometty referred to as a "trillion-dollar opportunity."
ServiceNow is a U.S.-based multinational technology conglomerate that offers a cloud computing platform to help firms handle digital workflows for enterprise operations. In FY2019, the company reported revenues of almost USD 3.2 billion, marking a 34 percent increase over the previous year. The company's cloud optimization platform, ServiceNow® ITOM Optimization, offers the visibility and authority companies need while improving the agility of the cloud.
In April 2018, ServiceNow acquired VendorHawk — a leading SaaS management company — to seamlessly include features like cloud software management to its big portfolio of IT management services. In February 2015, the company completed the acquisition of Intréis, a cloud-based consultancy that specializes in compliance, data governance, and risk mitigation.
Salesforce is an American multinational technology company that specializes in providing cloud computing software for enterprise solutions, principally customer relationship management (CRM). Salesforce's CRM solution, Salesforce Customer 360, is used by some of the most renowned companies in the world, including T-Mobile and Unilever. The company reported its revenue as USD 13.28 billion in FY2019, employing over 35,000 individuals globally.
In June 2019, the company completed its acquisition of data visualization software company Tableau for a whopping USD 15.7 billion, allowing both the companies to better serve their customers, and also deliver robust cloud computing solutions across all types of data and use cases. In April 2019, Salesforce acquired location intelligence company MapAnything, allowing the company to strengthen two of its premier products — Service Cloud and Sales. These two products account for one-third of Salesforce's revenue, and the acquisition of MapAnything will allow both the clouds to deliver high-end location-based intelligence solutions.
Oracle Corporation is among the world's leading technology companies, offering cloud engineered systems, ERP solutions, and database software and technology — particularly its own brands of DBM systems. In 2015, the company announced its ambitious plans in the analytical cloud services, IaaS and cloud integration services, and cloud applications. In FY2019, the company generated revenues of nearly USD 39.50 million.
In October 2019, the company acquired CrowdTwist — a leading cloud-based omnichannel customer loyalty and analytics company — to enable brands to offer personalized user experiences. In November 2016, Oracle completed the acquisition of NetSuite, combining the capabilities of the latter's cloud ERP solutions for SMEs with Oracle's enterprise-grade cloud solutions for the front and back offices.
SAP is a German multinational software company that specializes in providing enterprise software and cloud computing solutions. Tableau is established in 1972 by ex-IBM employees, and since then, the company grew in light of its enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and SAP Cloud Platform. The SAP Cloud Platform supports integration and extension for the Intelligent Enterprise, enabling companies to create new applications or extend existing ones in a secure cloud computing environment.
In June 2018, the company acquired Coresystems — a provider of workforce management and field service software — to enable SAP customers to get a more flexible and dynamic service ecosystem with Coresystems' AI-based platform. In 2018, the company reported its revenue as USD 26.73 billion.
Tableau — a U.S.-based multinational technology conglomerate and subsidiary of Salesforce — has the reputation of providing one of the best data visualization and analytics platforms in the world that is fully hosted in the cloud. Tableau 2020.2, the company's latest version of the software, has the capability of making user experiences better for creating analysis or consuming content. The company reported its FY2019 revenue as USD 902.0 million, marking a 41 percent increase over the previous year.
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