Hackernoon logoThe Clouds are Thickening: An Overview of The SaaS Ecosystem and Big Cloud Providers by@dmatr

The Clouds are Thickening: An Overview of The SaaS Ecosystem and Big Cloud Providers

Dmitry Martynov Hacker Noon profile picture

@dmatrDmitry Martynov

Senior executive with 15 years of experience dedicated to Product Management, Business development and Marketing

The global cloud technology market is entering a new stage in its development and is becoming more mature. Companies – from startups to industrial giants – are spending hard on the cloud. According to Gartner’s forecast, public cloud spending will hit a whopping $332 billion in 2021. 

Business expenses, by all accounts, are reasonable: the technologies, such as containerization, virtualization, and edge computing, allow them to optimize the IT infrastructure, and today's expenses will pay off tomorrow. The advantages of clouds are becoming more obvious to companies, which invest millions of dollars in them.

The global cloud services market continues to grow at double-digit rates. Along with Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), System Infrastructure Software as a Service (SISaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS), it grew 24.1% YoY in 2020 with revenues totaling $312 billion, according to the International Data Corporation (IDCWorldwide Semiannual Public Cloud Services Tracker.

At the same time, according to analysts, the number of cloud service providers themselves decreased, and they themselves became larger. According to Forrester's forecast, from 2020, the global public cloud infrastructure market will grow 35% to $120 billion in 2021, with Alibaba taking over third place globally, after AWS and Microsoft Azure. But they forgot Google, who joined the race with the Google Cloud and won bronze.

The SaaS ecosystem

Certain segments, such as IaaS, are still growing fast in the cloud services market. Its market is expected to grow by $136.21 billion during 2021-2025. The forecast is based on the observation of the business' shift from CAPEX to OPEX model and the growing need for better backup solutions.


Individual services in the clouds are growing even faster. For example, the spending on cybersecurity in the cloud increased by 33% YoY becoming a $585 million market in 2020. Moreover, this market is predicted to exceed $1 trillion during the upcoming years.

The Big Clouds

In Q1 2021, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is currently the dominant player in the cloud infrastructure market, accounting for 32% of the global market revenue, or $13.5 billion, a growth of 30% on the previous period.

Microsoft Azure retains second place. During the same period, the platform took 19% of the market. The three leaders closed Google Cloud, taking 7% of the market ($4 billion), followed by the Chinese Alibaba Cloud with a market share of 3% ($2,6 billion).

The cloud services market continues to grow rapidly, and the main driver of development today is the migration to the cloud of businesses of all sizes. Of course, COVID-19 just accelerated the migration to an unprecedented speed.

While cloud services can optimize costs, improve business process efficiency and free up human resources, preparing for cloud migration and organizing business support in the cloud requires special expertise and a ready-made ecosystem of solutions. For instance, IBM has recently acquired free software developer RedHat for $34 billion and now has a full stack of solutions to cloud its customers.


Cloudy Earth

Many people – especially people outside the IT business – see their cost-effectiveness as a key advantage of cloud technologies. There are no capital expenditures for the construction of data centers, the purchase of servers, etc. But this is the second or even the third advantage of clouds.

The main thing is the speed with which the company can test and implement new ideas, products, and solutions.

A company can see whether an idea works or not, and if it does, quickly turn it into a product and bring it to market. Parameters such as time to validation and time to market in the cloud infrastructure are an order of magnitude higher than in the classical one. For any modern business, especially one operating in a highly competitive environment, this is a fundamentally important issue.

According to Statista, the overall level of penetration of cloud market services is 36%. Nevertheless, more and more companies are seeing the benefits of using clouds, and today the cloud market is in a stage of active growth and is expected to be worth $800 billion by 2025.

Over the past couple of years, companies have begun to actively use cloud technologies for business. This is confirmed by data from a recent survey by Flexera. According to the results of this study, in 2020, more than half of organizations moved their workloads to the cloud.

The demand for cloud services is increasing, especially from customers who have chosen a strategy of moving to hybrid clouds. Such companies and organizations dynamically redistribute workloads in private and public clouds, use advanced analytical solutions and software development tools, and also build ecosystems based on API platforms. Now the hybrid cloud - various combinations of resources of the private, global public, as well as local hosting clouds, is now chosen by 28% of enterprises.

There is now a battle between cloud providers for large customers who intend to migrate to a hybrid cloud, combining their infrastructure with a more dynamic and flexible cloud environment. AMR says, in 5 years, the global cloud migration services market will hit $515.83 billion, so cloud providers and integrators are looking to create the conditions for migrating established enterprise systems operating in corporate data centers to the cloud.

To maintain the connectivity of infrastructure and ensure the security of critical business processes, customers require building hybrid clouds with a unified management and security system. So far, only a few can implement such a mixed infrastructure for a large customer.

Therefore, we should expect the active development of this very profitable and high-margin market segment.
Dmitry Martynov Hacker Noon profile picture
by Dmitry Martynov @dmatr. Senior executive with 15 years of experience dedicated to Product Management, Business development and MarketingRead my stories


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