SAP and Oracle Leapfrog Salesforce in the Top 10 of the Cloud Wars; IBM Advances, ServiceNow Drops

cloud wars

image via TheStreet

Three so-called “legacy” vendors—Oracle, SAP, and IBM—have all moved up on the Cloud Wars Top 10 as a result of stellar cloud performances throughout 2022, while two cloud natives—Salesforce and ServiceNow—have fallen in the weekly rankings.

The Cloud Wars Top 10, which is now in its seventh year of evaluating and ranking the largest and most significant cloud providers worldwide, has undergone some significant changes, as summarised below:
Top 10 cloud wars company      Earlier Rank          Fresh Rank
Salesforce                                                 4                                      6
SAP                                                             6                                      5
ServiceNow                                               7                                     10
IBM                                                            10                                     7

The changes reflect excellent transformations within Oracle, SAP, and IBM, each of which is 112 years old, 50 years old, and 45 years old respectively as each of those companies had to:

  • update its technologies and products to better serve customers’ cloud-centric needs
  • update its go-to-market strategies to reflect customers’ new mentality
  • restructure its marketing, support, and sales teams to take into account this new situation.
  • Create novel solutions for the contemporary digital challenges that customers are facing; strengthen and expand its global partner
  • ecosystem; and accomplish all of this while competing against, and in many cases outperforming, ruthless and incredibly strong rivals.

Because every action has an equal and opposite reaction, Salesforce and ServiceNow’s decline in the Cloud Wars Top 10 was a counterbalance to the rise of Oracle, SAP, and IBM. The factors driving those two companies’ downward movements are very different.

Salesforce slips to #6 from #4
In Salesforce’s fiscal Q3 earnings call on Nov. 30, a number of shocking revelations were made public.

The company’s growth rate fell to 14% for the quarter that ended on October 31 after previously remaining above 20% for many years.
Bret Taylor, the co-CEO, announced his impending departure just a year after accepting that prominent position, which points to serious issues with the company’s strategic direction, product strategy, competitive challenges, and other issues.
Concerns about the company’s fastest-growing business unit are raised by Stewart Butterfield’s decision to announce his departure shortly after Taylor’s announcement and in contrast to statements he has made over the past two and a half years about how the pandemic changed “everything,”, particularly the outdated idea of people traveling to headquarters offices to perform their jobs, Benioff’s most recent remarks about the lower productivity of remote workers are completely at odds with those statements. 

ServiceNow drops to #10 from #7
I’ll admit that, as a sentimental squish, I occasionally find myself charmed by a stirring call to action. Additionally, ServiceNow CEO Bill McDermott’s goal of making the company the “defining software company of the 21st century” has a lot of endearing qualities.

However, I have a hunch that “charm” is somewhere south of #50 or maybe even #75 on the priority lists of the business executives among ServiceNow’s customers and prospects. Therefore, despite the fact that I commend McDermott for his overall performance in reshaping and repositioning ServiceNow as well as for fostering very strong levels of growth during his three years as CEO, the company is gliding toward no-land man because it is attempting to establish a new and standalone category in a market with a limited appetite for such singularity.

Does it work with applications? No, not really, though it does help customers create their own applications and create some of their own.Is it a platform company then? Yes, but this platform company is very different from the others because they all have substantial resources that their platforms can use:

Microsoft accomplishes this in a number of ways, but especially with Power Platform.

  • It is accomplished by Google Cloud’s rapidly expanding database business.
  • Oracle accomplishes this in a variety of ways, with the fast-growing Autonomous Database and Oracle Database in particular.
  • SAP’s rapid expansion Platform for Business Technology
  • There is a huge opportunity as IBM’s Red Hat’s popularity in hybrid cloud platforms soars.
  • Customers and partners can expand on Workday’s HCM and Financials apps with Workday Extend.

And Snowflake has started using its Data Cloud as a fantastic foundation for clients and business associates to build upon.
So, it’s become unclear to me how and why “the platform of platforms” will bring about significant change and transformation for customers at a time when they have access to so many great alternatives from cloud providers they already depend on heavily.

Cloud Wars: A New Era Top 10

  1. Microsoft
  2. Amazon
  3. Google Cloud
  4. Oracle (was #5)
  5. SAP (was #6)
  6. Salesforce (was #4)
  7. IBM (was #10)
  8. Workday
  9. Snowflake
  10. ServiceNow (was #7)

The rankings for Microsoft, Amazon, and Google Cloud have not changed. Oracle is now ranked #4, with SAP following closely at #5.
Following the departure of Bret Taylor, Salesforce’s co-CEO, and a sharp decline in its growth rate, the company fell from fourth to sixth place. After previously being at position #10 on the list, IBM rose to position #7.
Snowflake continues to rank at #8, while Workday is at #9. In terms of the overall ranking of the Cloud Wars companies, ServiceNow dropped from #7 to #10. The Cloud Wars Top 10 companies, which are the biggest and most powerful businesses in the fastest-growing market in history, are now reflected in these new rankings.

Oracle: 3 Motives for Its Jump to #4
  • Its cloud-related revenue growth rate was 45% and 43% over the last two quarters.
  • Its ardent and extensive commitment to fully automate the healthcare sector in ways that no other tech vendor is even considering
  • Its courageous and effective assault on “The 3 Hyperscalers” in the race for cloud infrastructure has made that a four-way race.
SAP: 3 Factors Why It Moved Up to #5
  • For the previous two quarters, its cloud-revenue growth rate was 34% and 38%.
  • With no signs of slowing, its S/4HANA Cloud growth rate has consistently ranged between 80% and 100%.
  • It is driving the entire Cloud Wars with its RISE go-to-market programme.

Top 10 to rethink how those businesses interact with clients who are undergoing significant business transformation

IBM: 3 Factors Why It Moved Up to #7
  • Its cloud business will generate well over $20 billion in revenue in calendar 2022, and over the past few quarters, its growth rate has been trending nicely upward. Will it be 20% by 2023?
  • As effectively as any other company in the Cloud Wars, IBM is fusing artificial intelligence (AI) with the cloud. Top 10
  • In the past 33 months, CEO Arvind Krishna has done a fantastic job of transforming IBM into an externally focused company whose component parts are now cooperating rather than competing to drive new levels of innovation and opportunity for their clients.

Final Reflections

I’d like to congratulate Oracle, SAP, and IBM for defying the predictions of doom and, much more importantly, for astounding their clients. The test for Salesforce and ServiceNow in 2023 will be whether you can keep up with the wildly reenergized “old timers” who have just soared past you.

The Top 5 Trends in Cloud Computing for 2023


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Many of the most revolutionary technological developments, such as artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT), and remote and hybrid working, have been made possible by the widespread adoption of cloud computing. We can anticipate it enabling even more technologies in the future, such as quantum computing, the metaverse, cloud gaming, and virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR).

This is made possible by cloud computing because it eliminates the need to spend money on purchasing and maintaining the pricey infrastructure necessary for these intensive computing applications. Instead, it is made available “as-a-service” by cloud service providers, who run it on their own servers and data centers. It also means that businesses that want to benefit from these ground-breaking technologies can, to some extent, avoid the hassle of finding or training a highly specialized workforce.

We can anticipate that businesses will continue to use cloud services in 2023 to access cutting-edge technology and improve internal operations and processes. The trends that I think will have the biggest impact are listed below.

1. Increased investment in cloud security and resilience

Large opportunities, efficiencies, and convenience come with cloud migration, but it also exposes businesses and organizations to a new set of cybersecurity threats. Furthermore, the risk of fines or, even worse, losing the trust of their clients is a real issue because of the growing body of legislation governing how businesses can store and use personal data.

Spending on cyber security and increasing resilience against everything from data loss to the effects of a pandemic on international trade will thus take on even greater importance in the upcoming year. The emphasis will likely be on finding creative and economical ways to maintain cyber security though, in order to get the most “bang for the buck” as many companies look to cut costs in the face of a predicted economic recession. In 2023, this will translate into increased use of managed “security-as-a-service” providers as well as AI and predictive technology designed to identify threats before they cause issues.

2. A strategy that is gaining popularity is multi-cloud.

If 2022 was the year of hybrid cloud, then 2023 might be when companies finally start to realize the benefits of distributing their services among a number of cloud providers. A multi-cloud approach is a method used in this situation, and it has a number of benefits, such as increased security and flexibility.

Additionally, it prevents businesses from becoming overly reliant on a single ecosystem, which can be problematic when cloud service providers modify or discontinue support for specific applications. Additionally, it contributes to the development of redundancy, which lowers the likelihood that downtime or system errors will have a catastrophic impact on business operations.

Adopting a multi-cloud infrastructure means eschewing potentially harmful business practices like designing applications and procedures exclusively for a single cloud platform, such as AWS, Google Cloud, or Microsoft Azure. Because containerized applications are becoming more and more popular, they can be quickly ported to new platforms in the event that service levels change or more affordable solutions become available from different providers.

In contrast to the majority of businesses (70%) claims that they were still dependent on a single cloud service provider in 2020, research indicates that 84% of mid-to-large businesses will have adopted a multi-cloud strategy by 2023, making it one of the year’s most significant trends in cloud computing.

3. The cloud powered by AI and ML

Due to the limited resources available to businesses to develop their own AI infrastructure, cloud services for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are offered. Large amounts of computing power and storage space are needed for data collection and algorithm training, and renting these resources as a service is typically more cost-effective. More and more, cloud service providers use AI internally for a variety of purposes.

This involves running the enormous, dispersed networks required to supply storage resources to their clients, controlling the cooling and power systems in data centers, and supplying the cyber security tools that protect their data. As hyper-scale cloud service providers like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft continue to implement their own AI technology to develop more effective and affordable cloud services for their customers, we can anticipate seeing more innovation in this area in 2023.

4. Cloud services with little or no coding

People are becoming more and more interested in tools and platforms that let anyone build applications and use data to solve problems without having to learn how to write computer code. Tools for designing nearly any type of digital solution that businesses may require are included in this category of low-code and no-code solutions. The entry barriers for businesses looking to use AI and ML are being significantly reduced by the availability of low-code and no-code solutions for building AI-powered applications. Many of these services can be accessed as-a-service by users without them having to own the robust computing infrastructure required to run them themselves because they are offered via the cloud. Tools like Figma, Airtable, and Zoho enable users to perform tasks that up until now would have required coding expertise, like designing websites, automating spreadsheet tasks, and developing web applications. In my opinion, providing services like this is an area where cloud technology will be most beneficial in 2023 and beyond.

5. Cloud gaming innovation and consolidation

We now watch movies, watch TV, and listen to music differently thanks to streaming services like Netflix and Spotify that the cloud has brought us. With Microsoft, Sony, Nvidia, and Amazon all providing services in this area, streaming video gaming is clearly on its way to becoming more popular but is still gaining traction. Not everything has been smooth sailing, though; Google invested millions of dollars in the Stadia streaming gaming service before retiring it this year due to a lack of demand. One of the issues is the networks themselves because streaming video games obviously uses more bandwidth than streaming music or videos, so it’s only possible for those of us with high-quality, fast internet access—which is still far from universal. Cloud gaming may start to take off in 2023 as a result of the ongoing rollout of 5G and other extremely fast networking technologies, which should eventually find a solution to this issue. According to Google, the technology that underpins Stadia will continue to exist as the foundation of a B2B game streaming service that is currently being developed and will enable game developers to offer streaming features directly to their customers. If cloud gaming turns out to be the “killer app” for 5G in the same way that streaming video and music were for 4G and 3G, respectively, then 2023 might be the year that things start to come together.

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