Having established itself as an early leader in the market for cloud infrastructure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), the online retailer’s profitable cloud platform, is still ahead of the pack. According to estimates from Synergy Research Group, Amazon’s market share in the worldwide cloud infrastructure market amounted to 31 percent in the fourth quarter of 2023, down from 33 percent a year earlier. Meanwhile, Amazon's main rival Microsoft slowly edges closer, growing its market share to an all-time high of 24 percent in Q4 2023. Combined with Google at 11 percent market share, the "Big Three" now account for two thirds of the ever-growing cloud market, with the rest of the competition stuck in the low single digits.
In Q4 2023, global cloud infrastructure service spending grew by $12 billion compared to Q4 2022, bringing total spending to $73.7 billion for the three months ended December 31. Looking at the full year, enterprises spent $270 billion on cloud infrastructure services, explaining why the market is so fiercely contested. Despite it's size, the cloud market is still growing strongly. For the whole of 2023, spending grew 19 percent, while the fourth quarter saw 20 percent year-over-year growth. Equally impressive, spending grew by $5.6 billion from the third to the fourth quarter, marking the largest sequential increase ever recorded.
"This was a banner quarter for the cloud market," John Dinsdale, chief analyst at Synergy Research Group said. "The last quarter of the year usually benefits from a seasonal bounce with quarterly spending increasing much more than in the first three quarters, but this quarter set a record. Generative AI is clearly one of the main reasons for the strong performance, as the technology is embraced by cloud providers and enterprises alike."