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AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud: What’s the best cloud platform for enterprise?

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The adoption of cloud computing has quickly become a key driving force for businesses today, as applications are moved out of on-premise data centres in a bid to innovate, cut costs and increase agility.

Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) is a model where a third-party provider hosts and maintains core infrastructure, including hardware, software, servers and storage on behalf of a customer. This typically includes the hosting of applications in a highly scalable environment, where customers are only charged for the infrastructure they use.

Early concerns over security and data sovereignty have largely been addressed by the ‘big three’ public cloud vendors – Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform – with only the most heavily regulated businesses continuing to tread carefully when it comes to the adoption of cloud services.

This has fuelled a crowded IaaS market, pegged to be worth a total of $49.1 billion in 2020, up from $38.9 billion in 2019, according to research firm Gartner’s latest figures.

It is a market that has been dominated by AWS since day one, when it entered the sector in 2006. Now, Synergy Research Group’s figures for Q3 2019 have AWS as the clear market leader globally for public IaaS and PaaS market share at 33 percent, followed by Microsoft at 16 percent, Google at 8 percent and Alibaba at 5 percent. 

Despite AWS’s dominance, Microsoft has gained ground under the leadership of “cloud first” CEO Satya Nadella, building a huge global cloud network of its own.

Then there is the internet giant Google, which has been busy with its public cloud services and IaaS business under the Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

“There has been a massive arms race in cloud computing over the past 12 months, but we are now starting to see some real differences between the cloud providers in terms of the deals they are winning in the market,” says Nick McQuire, vice president of enterprise research at CSS Insight.

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