Azure Passes AWS in Flexera 2022 State of the Cloud Report

Analysts have said for a while that the No. 2 public cloud provider would grow more than the longtime largest.

Kelly Teal, Contributing Editor

March 9, 2022

4 Min Read
cloud battle

For the first time ever, Microsoft Azure usage has, at least among some global organizations, surpassed that of Amazon Web Services (AWS). That’s the word from the brand-new Flexera 2022 State of the Cloud Report.

To be clear, Azure – the long-running No. 2 public cloud computing provider – only saw the barest of gains among Flexera respondents. Flexera found that 95% of respondents now rely on Azure to some degree, while 93% said the same about AWS. Google Cloud trails at 80%.

Year-over-year, Azure saw an adoption rate of 77% among all organizations (not just enterprises). AWS came in at 76%, Flexera said. That compares to 73% last year for Azure and 77% for AWS. Google Cloud’s share grew by 1%, from 47% to 48%.

Among just enterprises, Azure adoption rose 4% to 80%. AWS dropped 2% to 77%. Google Cloud fell a little, too, to 48% from 49%.

Analysts, pundits and other cloud computing observers have predicted for some time that Azure would indeed surpass its bigger rival, AWS. (And some have said it already has.) The questions were always when and whether Azure would retain its lead. In some spot cases, Azure has outrivaled AWS, as in the highly contentious – and now-scrapped – Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract at the Department of Defense.

However, among SMBs, AWS still ranks as the top cloud provider, according to the Flexera 2022 State of the Cloud Report. SMBs say they run 41% of significant workloads on AWS and 31% on Azure.

Of interest is that enterprises are running significant workloads in equal amounts on Azure and AWS, to the tune of 47%. Google Cloud is seeing only 18% of significant workloads, but it does handle the most experimental workloads, at 23%.

There’s More Room for Channel Partners in Cloud Deployments

When it comes to how organizations are getting their public cloud services, it looks like there could be more involvement from the channel. Only 26% of respondents said they look to cloud managed service providers to handle their public cloud platforms. That’s despite 57% of respondents saying they outsource at least some public cloud work, the Flexera 2022 State of the Cloud Report found.

Meantime, multicloud configurations remain popular. The lion’s share (89%) of respondents said they look to multiple clouds, including public and private, to deliver the workloads they need. Typically, organizations are housing different apps on different clouds (45%). This can be a risk if (when?) an outage occurs, but more respondents (44%) are crafting disaster recovery/failover strategies. Also, nearly all (96%) respondents say they use at least one public cloud and 84% have at least one private cloud. Four in five (80%) have hybrid clouds in place.

Expect all that momentum to keep translating into more cloud spending. A little more than a third (37%) of enterprise respondents said they shelled out $12 million in annual spend for cloud computing last year. A bigger majority (80%) said they spend $1.2 million on cloud per year.

SMBs, of course, spend less, since they’re inherently smaller and don’t have as many workloads or as much budget as their enterprise counterparts. Still, their outlay is significant and presents an opportunity for MSPs to help ensure SMBs are making the most of their cloud investments. To that point, more than half (53%) of SMBs said they’ve ramped up cloud spending, reaching $1.2 million each year. That compares to 38% saying the same in 2021.

Flexera used to publish its annual State of the Cloud Report under the RightScale brand. The Flexera 2022 State of the Cloud Report (the 11th one) featured input from 753 global respondents in technical and business roles. Most handle cloud decision-making in their organizations, which range in employee numbers from 10-10,000. Those respondents also span a range of industries. Importantly, Flexera did not look to its customers or prospects to provide their feedback for the report.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Kelly Teal or connect with her on LinkedIn.


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Channel Research

About the Author(s)

Kelly Teal

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Kelly Teal has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist, editor and analyst, with longtime expertise in the indirect channel. She worked on the Channel Partners magazine staff for 11 years. Kelly now is principal of Kreativ Energy LLC.

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