Continuing to validate its position as the greatest growth market the world has ever known, the Cloud Wars Top 10 will generate $359.4 billion in cloud revenue in 2023, up 19.1% in spite of a challenging global economy that has forced many corporate customers to cut back sharply on spending.
Before breaking out my projections for each world-shaping company in the Cloud Wars Top 10, let me share a few key factors that have influenced my thinking throughout the year:
- Enormous potential. Many businesses across the globe have only just begun their move to the cloud. In describing the current state of the market’s evolution, Oracle CEO Safra Catz recently said, “We’re maybe at the end of the beginning.”
- Generative artificial intelligence (Gen AI). The Gen AI revolution has grabbed the attention of CEOs who understand that it represents an existential moment for their companies: They can dive in right now and gain the chance to be industry leaders, or they can form exploratory committees to propose strategic plans for 2024, which is nothing more than a fancy way of saying, “We’re too afraid to do anything.” Leaders who take that latter path are in for a world of pain.
- Dazzling customers. Despite the long-standing economic uncertainty, customers — whether consumers or businesses — continue to be more demanding, to want more choices, and to expect superb experiences. And while traditional systems are simply incapable of delivering such outcomes, the cloud was designed precisely to deliver all of that.
- New talent dynamics. The labor market, the talent pool, the workforce, the work-from-home (WFH) movement, or whatever you choose to call it has reshaped the world of work and the expectations employees have for superb experiences. Cloud-based apps, particularly the new breed infused with Gen AI, are becoming an essential ingredient for attracting and inspiring world-class talent and sparking high-value employee experiences.
- Data power. In a global economy increasingly powered by data, the power of the cloud — and the security of the cloud and the flexibility of the cloud and the scalability of the cloud and elasticity of the cloud, and much more — have become purpose-built tools to unleash the full business potential of data.
In the table below, I’ve listed the actual figures for calendar-2022 cloud revenue, my projections for calendar-2023 revenue, and my projected growth rate for each company. Since four of the Top 10 companies do not operate on calendar quarters, I had to do a bit of extrapolating/estimating in coming up with the calendar-2022 cloud-revenue figures — those companies are Oracle, Workday, Salesforce, and Snowflake.
Also, a few interesting numbers jumped out at me as I put the list together:
- Microsoft will account for 28.9% of the total Top 10 revenue for calendar 2023;
- In yet another sign that no one owns first place but instead holds a temporary lease that can be revoked at any time, the two iconic cloud pioneers that initially dominated the cloud market will finish this year with two of the lowest growth rates: AWS at 13.7%, and Salesforce at 12%.
- Oracle will finish the year as the fastest-growing member of the Cloud Wars Top 10 with a growth rate that I expect to be 38.8%; and
- IBM has become far less transparent about its cloud-revenue figures, and my projection for IBM’s full-year performance reflects that.
Okay, here are my estimates for how each Cloud Wars Top 10 company will do this year:
|Company||2022 Cloud Rev.||2023 Cloud Rev.||%Change|
|1. Microsoft||$102 billion||$124 billion||21.6%|
|2. Google Cloud||$26.3 billion||$33.9 billion||28.9%|
|3. AWS||$80 billion||$91 billion||13.7%|
|4. Oracle||$12.9 billion||$17.9 billion||38.8%|
|5. SAP||$12.7 billion||$15.4 billion||21.3%|
|6. ServiceNow||$7.25 billion||$8.9 billion||23%|
|7. Workday||$5.9 billion||$7.1 billion||19.9%|
|8. Salesforce||$30.2 billion||$33.6 billion||12%|
|9. IBM||$22.4 billion||$24.8 billion||10%|
|10. Snowflake||$1.9 billion||$2.6 billion||35%|
While I’ve tried to offer my best projections on these 2023 numbers, they might turn out to be too conservative: While the cloud has certainly not been impervious to external market forces, it has definitely shown a strong ability to withstand them.
Plus, I’m more confident than ever that business leaders understand viscerally that if they want their companies to be viable and successful in an increasingly digital world, then the cloud is not merely their best choice — it is their only choice.
Gain insight into the way Bob Evans builds and updates the Cloud Wars Top 10 ranking, as well as how C-suite executives use the list to inform strategic cloud purchase decisions. That’s available exclusively through the Acceleration Economy Cloud Wars Top 10 Course.