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Coronavirus pandemic provides boost for cloud sales

Synergy Research reveals crisis has had a "mildly positive impact" on the market

A hand holding up a tablet computer that is projecting a cloud hologram.

The current global COVID-19 pandemic has had a "mildly positive impact" on cloud sales, the latest analysis from Synergy Research has revealed.

As other industries have suffered at the hands of the virus and subsequent containment measures, cloud service providers have recorded significant growth as many businesses switch to remote working.

During Q1 2020, spending on cloud infrastructure services hit $29 billion, marking a 37% increase from the first quarter of last year. Although this was in line with expected market growth rate, the research firm said there were no signs of a meaningful negative impact and "anecdotal evidence" suggested positive market tailwinds.

Synergy also estimated that market revenue for the last 12 months totalled $104 billion, with public Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (Paas) increasing by 39% during Q1 2020.

"While COVID-19 is having a devastating impact on communities and economies around the world, indications are that it is having a mildly positive impact on the cloud infrastructure services market," commented John Dinsdale, chief analyst at Synergy Research Group.

In terms of the big market providers, Amazon Web Services (AWS) continued to mirror the overall market trend with a global market share of 32%, while Microsoft increased to 18% following a strong year of growth.

Key players Google, Alibaba and Tencent were also found to be significantly outpacing the market and gaining market share, Synergy added, with all three firms seeing revenue increases of 45% or more year-on-year.

"For sure the pandemic is causing some issues for cloud providers, but in uncertain times the public cloud is providing flexibility and a safe haven for enterprises that are struggling to maintain normal operations," Dinsdale added.

"Cloud provider revenues continue to grow at truly impressive rates, with AWS and Azure in aggregate now having an annual revenue run rate of well over $60 billion."

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