Microsoft has an edge on AWS, according to IT executives

Goldman Sachs survey suggests IT executives see Microsoft winning the cloud wars over the next three years

Microsoft is the most popular supplier of public cloud services and is continuing to gain on AWS, according to research. 

What's more, the tech giant's cloud platform, Azure, is expected to dominate the market over the next three years. 

This is according to a survey of over 100 IT executives from Global 2000 companies, conducted by financial giant Goldman Sachs. Of the executives surveyed, 56  said they were using Azure for cloud infrastructure, with only 48 saying they used AWS.

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The research focused on cloud infrastructure and platform as a service, an area in which Goldman Sachs analysts said Microsoft has been in the lead since December 2017, with its popularity growing with each passing year.

This growth it set to continue, according to the survey, with 66 CIOs suggesting their companies will be using Azure more than any other cloud in the next three years.

"Respondents expect today's top vendors to continue to dominate the rankings in three years. Microsoft remains the clear leader, with 22% of the votes today and in three years respectively," the analysts wrote.

Since taking becoming CEO, Satya Nadella

has helped to change Microsoft's focus towards cloud services for business and in recent years the company has made up lots of ground on the overall market leader, AWS. 

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In April last year, Microsoft briefly hit a $1 trillion market cap for the first time, buoyed by 73% growth in its Azure cloud business. Its strategy has focused on large enterprise companies, business-friendly features and a more collaborative attitude with its cloud platform.

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This is in contrast to AWS, which is a favourite of startups and encourages companies to go all-in on its services.

The analysts concluded that about 23% of IT workloads are now on public clouds, which was at 19% in June. They expect the number to rise to 43% in the next three years which could open opportunities for other cloud providers, such as Google.

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