AWS had a successful year by any measure. The company continued to behave like a startup with the kind of energy and momentum to invest in new areas not usually seen in an incumbent with a significant marketshare lead.
How good a year was it? According to numbers from Synergy Research, the company remains the category leader by far with around 35 percent marketshare. Microsoft sits well behind in second place with around 11 percent. Yet AWS showed growth every quarter with an overall growth rate of over 40 percent, fairly remarkable when you consider that it is operating from a large marketshare position where it becomes much more difficult to continue hanging up such big numbers.
“While we forecast 40% growth in the total market for 2017, there’s still something a little shocking about seeing a business unit the size of AWS consistently growing its revenues by over 40%,” John Dinsdale, chief analyst and research director at Synergy Research Group said in a statement.
Yet, for the three quarters it reported in fiscal 2017, the company went from $3.6 billion in Q1 to $4.1 billion in Q2 to $4.5 billion in Q3. It marked the 14th straight quarter of revenue growth. It would have been 16, but for a little dip between Q1 and Q2 in 2014.
Part of that can be attributed to the fact that the cloud market itself is growing at a remarkably rapid rate. All of the cloud companies are growing quickly as the pie expands. Cloud computing has reached a point of market acceptance that it was lacking in previous years, and that has led to growth across the market. Amazon continues to benefit from that growth.
Not sitting still
Perhaps you would expect a company like Amazon that helped define the Infrastructure as a Service market more than a decade ago to go into protection mode. It wouldn’t be unusual for a highly successful company to simply try and hold its marketshare lead by playing it safe and taking a more deliberate approach, but it did the opposite.
Instead it continued to accelerate announcing a slew of new services that only added to its growing list of offerings. At AWS re:Invent, the company’s annual customer conference held earlier this month, Amazon kept the announcements coming at a frenetic pace. As I wrote:
To give you a sense of the breadth of coverage, we had 25 stories on TechCrunch this week just related to this event — and we didn’t cover everything by any means. It certainly shows that in spite of its commanding lead in the infrastructure market, AWS has no intention of sitting still and waiting for the competition to catch up.
And it continued with a post-re:Invent announcement about entering the identity management market.
As we head into 2018, there is little reason to doubt that the pace will continue. Company CEO Jeff Bezos has never been one to sit around and wait for the competition. He constantly pushes his company to look at the customer, figure out what they need and give it to them. With the market continuing to accelerate in the coming year, there is every reason to think that Amazon will continue to take its slice of the pie, ceding nothing and not giving an inch, just as it always has.