AWS Losing 'Mind Share' Battle, Cloud Comparison Study Says

Bill Mew at Compare the Cloud released new rankings indicating Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS), though a perennial cloud services frontrunner, is experiencing slower growth and is losing the "mind share" battle with competitors such as IBM and Microsoft.

"All the cloud players are in a massive battle for market share and mind share, and while AWS remains in a league of its own in terms of scale, it can no longer claim to be bigger than its closest four competitors combined," Mew said in announcing Compare the Cloud's latest rankings. "This month's rankings show AWS's rivals are not only catching up in terms of market share, but have taken an outright lead in terms of mind share."

Compare the Cloud, in tracking the top 50 influential cloud organizations, actually separates an "Amazon" cloud and an AWS cloud, so the numbers are difficult to compare.

"Amazon will break out its AWS revenues separately for the first time in its next financial report, [but] until then we are still reliant on market share reports," he said, referencing a recent survey by Synergy Research Group that indicated "AWS Market Share Hits 5-Year High."

Despite the high market share, Mew said "The SRG report found that AWS's cloud growth had faltered in competition with Microsoft and IBM in the second quarter of 2014. While AWS remains to be the largest singularity, its competitors combined growth has finally disproven AWS's claim to fame of being bigger than all its competitors combined."

The February rankings showed that Amazon dropped one place from third to fourth, changing places with Apple. AWS actually rose four spots, coming in at No. 5.

IBM also gained four spots to come in at No. 2 behind Microsoft, prompting Mew to conclude "The #CloudInfluence battle heated up in February as Microsoft and IBM stole a mind share lead over Amazon in cloud."

Virtualization Review Magazine editor in chief Keith Ward examined the IBM cloud effort in detail in an article titled "IBM Continues Its Climb to the Clouds." Ward also pointed out in an article about private cloud adoption that "Azure is making solid gains against Amazon Web Services (AWS) in the public cloud arena." He followed that up with a report of a one-line informal poll that indicated "Microsoft Azure Nearly Ties AWS in Cloud Usage."

Taken together and with other reports, all signs indicate AWS is facing some of the stiffest competition since it launched its iconic cloud service in 2006.

"Amazon prides itself on being a relatively lean operation compared to the traditional players, but it cannot afford to be complacent or to underestimate these giants," Mew said. "Microsoft and IBM have massive marketing machines and huge ecosystems supporting their products and services, and both giants are focused on displacing AWS."

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.