cloudwarsCloud computing has completely revolutionized the technology sector, enabling a new generation of incredible innovation and invention. When people talk about the competition between public cloud providers, there’s an underlying assumption that Amazon Web Services has already won the race.

From my perspective, that’s a false belief. Yes, AWS leads in overall market revenue. But according to a Goldman Sachs survey of tech executives, Microsoft is gaining strength rapidly.

The Goldman Sachs survey suggests that “Microsoft could continue to gain cloud market share. Microsoft stock has outpaced the major indices as CEO Satya Nadella has focused the company more on cloud services, particularly for business use. Further cloud growth could help bring the stock higher,” writes Jordan Novet of CNBC. “Across cloud infrastructure and platform as a service put together, Microsoft’s lead which has been increasing since December 2017, according to the analysts.”

I find this absolutely fascinating. From my point of view, it’s another clear indicator that we’re in the early innings of a long game. AWS is off to a great start, but it’s far too early to foresee which of the cloud services will dominate the field over the long term. It’s safe to say the cloud providers have a long runway ahead of them.

“About 23% of IT workloads are now on public clouds, up from 19% in June,” writes Novet. Analysts “expect the percentage to reach 43% in three years. That leaves plenty of room for growth for other contenders, like Google, for example.”

Novet’s article also points out that workload usage doesn’t equate directly with revenue, making it hard to tell which cloud service is actually the most popular among enterprise users.

Here’s another interesting item: It looks as though Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn was a genuinely smart business move. “LinkedIn will grow faster than previously expected,” according to an article in eMarketer. “This year, we estimate that there will be 62.1 million adult LinkedIn users in the US, which will grow 4.2% in 2021 to 64.7 million. By the end of the forecasting period in 2023, we expect there to be 68.8 million users.”

LinkedIn isn’t as popular as Facebook and Instagram, but it’s the social media platform used regularly by professionals, which makes it a valuable tool for everyone in the business community.

“LinkedIn users make up about a third of all social network users in the US, and that will stay approximately the same for the next few years, according to eMarketer. “Revenues on the business social platform continue to grow, with most coming from B2B advertisers. This year, LinkedIn will see $1.59 billion in ad revenues, growing another 11.2% to $1.77 billion in 2021.”

Those are impressive numbers, and they demonstrate the wisdom of Microsoft’s decision to acquire LinkedIn in 2016.

At HMG Strategy, we're actively supporting the next great generation of technology leaders. We've created a truly global peer-to-peer platform to deliver world-class insights and ideas to the global audience. Please join us at one of our upcoming summits and learn how to lead, re-imagine and reinvent the modern enterprise to create a culture of genius and drive growth in unprecedented times.