IBM Remains Atop The EMEA IaaS Rankings

IBM finished atop the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) infrastructure-as-a-service regional market for the second straight year thanks to a variety of factors including the breadth of its cloud portfolio, expertise in cloud migration and the sheer number of data centres it operates.

According to PAC’s latest annual rankings, Big Blue finished ahead of fellow American providers Amazon and HP Enterprise, while T-Systems and Atos rounded out the top five. IBM led the IaaS market again for a variety of reasons. For starters, there are few players in the region that can offer IBM’s coverage across multiple EMEA geographies. This gives it a distinct advantage as customers value the ability to scale with a cloud service provider and address concerns over data location and privacy.

Amazon’s AWS unit vaulted up the rank order three spots to second place, with expansion efforts in EMEA countries such as Germany, where it opened its first cloud data centre in 2014, paying off in the form of outstanding revenue growth. AWS also continues to benefit from the greater market readiness for public cloud services, with PAC expecting EMEA spending on public IaaS to rise by 31% between 2015 and 2019 on a compounded basis. Conversely, European vendors like T-Systems or Atos have mainly focused on hosted private cloud so far. However, with the launch of the Open Telekom Cloud and partnerships with Microsoft and Cisco, T-Systems is challenging the American public IaaS vendors.

Other American public IaaS providers also fared well, most notably Microsoft and Google. The companies grew revenue well above the market rate and climbed up the rank order five and three spots respectively. Accenture and a number of Indian vendors such as TCS that deliver managed cloud services also fared well. Accenture and TCS for example ascended three and two spots respectively.

The EMEA IaaS market is fertile ground for a number of reasons. Enterprises typically point to the agility offered by IT infrastructure as a primary reason for moving to the cloud. However, next-generation applications born and run in the cloud are also giving businesses reasons to migrate.

Though the market is still growing at a notable clip, a small group of companies are grabbing a greater share of the market. The top 10 suppliers collectively claimed more IaaS share than they did in the previous year as the market becomes one of scale where those with the deepest pockets fare best. As such, PAC expects further supplier consolidation as the market centres around a smaller number of larger providers. This trend has already commenced as many providers have announced their intention to resell offerings of top players, discontinue their efforts altogether or significantly reduce the amount invested in cloud IaaS.