cloudy with rain

Analysts seem to make an annual tradition out of proclaiming the “year of the cloud.” In 2015, however, several companies made a larger cloud push that helped this claim live up to the hype.

Both Amazon Web Services and Microsoft’s Azure platforms continue to dominate, particularly with their Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offerings.

While some companies that once ruled enterprise software like Oracle seek to repurpose their strategy for the cloud era, Google is lurking in the shadows with ambitious goals for a larger push into the cloud space.

This sets up an interesting 2016, where powerhouses will face off in their goal to meet businesses’ every need in the cloud.

Key Takeaways

Amazon Web Services is still dominant: 57 percent of IT architects and tech professionals are running their apps on the AWS platform, according to the IDC 2015 Cloud Computing Study.

The lead is so substantial that the next contender is all the way down at 12 percent market share: Microsoft’s Azure IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service).

Rackspace and Google App Engine also make an appearance further down the list. But it’s not a done deal, as the study reports 56 percent of companies are still identifying which IT operations should move to cloud hosting.

Google Lurks in the Background

The most interesting storyline when it comes to looking back at 2015 comes from Google.

During the Structure Conference in November Urz Hölzle, Google’s senior vice president of technical infrastructure, said the company was plotting a major move into the enterprise cloud space. So much so that Google plans to make the majority of its revenue from cloud services by 2020.

Currently Google makes the bulk of its money from online advertising. While it has a presence with its cloud platform it’s a relatively small piece of its moneymaking machine.

According to a July report in The Information, Google’s cloud revenues only account for about $400 million of its typical haul of several billion dollars per quarter. The company will need to make quite the titanic shift in order to reach this lofty goal.

Platform-as-a-Service Exploding

Research from the Wikibon Public Cloud Market survey finds a tremendous amount of growth in the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) market.

According to the research, the sector will grow from last year’s $1.7 billion in spending to $68.3 billion by 2026. The big leaders are Salesforce, Amazon and Microsoft.

It’s telling how difficult it will be for the underdogs, as companies like Oracle and Google are at two percent each. Though we’re talking about multi-billion dollar underdogs, so things could certainly change.

While the exact outcomes of such predictions usually waiver, PaaS is an area that should see tremendous expansion and competition as more companies try to ditch the hassle of maintaining their own infrastructure and servers.

The story in 2016 will be how much room there is in the enterprise cloud for all those companies who want to stake out their own space.

Title image by Iren Petrova