Battle of the Cloud platforms: AWS dominates but disruption is on the horizon

New report assesses the Cloud skills market and the balance of power between the major players

Experis, the global leader in professional IT resourcing, today launches its latest Tech Cities Job Watch report looking at how the battle of the Cloud platforms is unfolding between the big four – AWS Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and IBM Cloud.

The report explores the industry and technological strongholds of each, business demand for Cloud skills, and the factors that could be set to disrupt the established market leaders, AWS and Microsoft.

The global Cloud market is set to reach $390bn by 2020, representing a compound annual growth rate of 17% since 2015. That opportunity – alongside the underlying Cloud architecture requirements of emerging technologies like mobile, cybersecurity, big data, the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G and blockchain – places Cloud skills at a premium. But, 38% of those involved in recruiting talent in Cloud have struggled to find the right skills over the last 12 months.

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The new report reveals the wider skills dynamics at play in the market, including:

The two major established players:

  • AWS Cloud: dominates much of the Cloud market share with 54% of all UK Cloud roles (Q2 2018). This demand is particularly strong in security-conscious industries like financial services. It also has a well-established foothold in the public sector that is unlikely to diminish soon. The ability to create owned private networks with AWS is crucial for these two sectors; while the platform’s data warehousing capabilities are also helping attract interest from businesses looking to focus more on Big Data applications.
  • Microsoft Azure: hasn’t yet reached the popularity of AWS but retains its position as the biggest challenger for market share with 41% of all UK Cloud roles advertised (Q2 2018). It remains the platform of choice in sectors like utilities and has a strong presence in financial services as well, where it competes with AWS. However, permanent salaries for Microsoft Azure (£64,647) are below the Cloud average (£68,672).

The disrupters:

  • Google Cloud: only accounted for 4% of all UK Cloud roles advertised (Q2 2018). However, it looks poised to have a big impact on the Cloud status quo over the next five to 10 years. It commands the highest average salary (£71,701) of the four platforms and has generated real traction in dynamic industries like betting, gaming and media, which crave the agility it provides to run their operations more nimbly. There is also a large talent supply in short-term contractor support, and this is growing.
  • IBM Cloud: with only 1% of all UK Cloud roles advertised (Q2 2018), IBM Cloud doesn’t hold the market share of AWS and Microsoft Azure yet. But it could also be a major disruptor in the market over the next few years. The tech giant has focused much of its development in Cloud around IoT. Its collaboration with VMware in particular shows that this is where it sees the opportunity in the market.

Martin Ewings, Director of Specialist Markets, Experis comments: “Cloud skills remain an integral part of businesses taking advantage of new tech disciplines. The higher demands that these emerging technologies put on Cloud-based storage and processing, as well as the need to consolidate existing Cloud environments, can only be good news for the major players. But AWS Cloud and Microsoft Azure will have to be aware of the oncoming threat in the market from the likes of Google and IBM.

“Whether its industry specific benefits, as with Google Cloud; or technology developments, like IBM’s IoT focus – disruption of the Cloud establishment is on the horizon. One technology to watch is blockchain. It remains an area on which the major players have yet to stamp their authority. AWS has made some advances here, but it could be an opportunity for Microsoft, Google or IBM to steal market share” Ewings concluded.

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