Microsoft Azure continues to lag behind Amazon in the cloud infrastructure market

Research and advisory firm Gartner recently published its Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Worldwide 2019 report. According to the report, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud were the leaders in the market. Among the leaders, AWS was clearly dominating the market with a wide variety of services which are both mature and innovative. Microsoft was ranked below AWS, but ahead of Google Cloud. When compared to last year’s report, Microsoft has lost some points in the ‘Ability to Execute’ scale.

Gartner mentioned the following as the strengths and weakness of Microsoft Azure:

Strengths:

  • Enterprises that are strategically committed to Microsoft technology generally choose Azure as their primary IaaS+PaaS provider. The integrated end-to-end experience for enterprises building .NET applications using Visual Studio and related services while deploying them to Azure is unsurpassed. Microsoft is leveraging its tremendous sales reach and ability to co-sell Azure with other Microsoft products and services in order to drive adoption.
  • Azure provides a well-integrated approach to edge computing and Internet of Things (IoT), with offerings that reach from its hyperscale data center out through edge solutions such as Azure Stack and Data Box Edge.
  • Microsoft Azure’s capabilities have become increasingly innovative and open, where 50% of the workloads are Linux-based along with numerous open-source application stacks. Microsoft has a unique vision for the future that involves bringing in technology partners through native, first-party offerings such as those from VMware, NetApp, Red Hat, Cray and Databricks.

Cautions:

  • Microsoft Azure’s reliability issues continue to be a challenge for customers, largely as a result of Azure’s growing pains. Since September 2018, Azure has had multiple service-impacting incidents, including significant outages involving Azure Active Directory. The nature of many of these outages is such that customers had no controls in order to mitigate the downtime.
  • Gartner clients often experience challenges with on-time implementations within budget and that results from Microsoft setting unreasonably high expectations for customers. Much of this stems from modestly improving capabilities of Microsoft’s field sales teams to appropriately position and sell Azure within its customer base.
  • Enterprises frequently lament the quality of Microsoft technical support (along with the increasing cost of support) and field solution architects. This negatively impacts customer satisfaction, and slows Azure adoption and therefore customer spending.

Microsoft recently announced FY19 Q4 earnings results revealed that Azure revenue grew 64% in the last quarter. Even though this is a good growth number, in order to catch up with Amazon in a few years, Microsoft should target triple digit growth in the upcoming years.

Source: Gartner

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