Microsoft could overtake Amazon in the cloud, Morgan Stanley survey finds

CIOs say they’re more likely to use Microsoft Azure than Amazon Web Services in three years


In what could be foreshadowing a momentous shift in the IaaS public cloud computing market, investment bank Morgan Stanley’s survey of CIOs found they’re more likely to use Microsoft Azure compared to Amazon Web Services in the coming years.

The results of the survey are noteworthy because since the dawn of the IaaS cloud computing market Amazon Web Services has been seen as the top vendor. Morgan Stanley’s 2016 State of the CIO report shows that could be changing though.

morgan stanley azure aws Morgan Stanley

More CIOs are using Amazon Web Services over Microsoft for IaaS cloud now, but in three years more expect to use Azure over AWS. 

Just over 20% of CIOs reported they’re using Amazon Web Services today, while about 10% said they’re using Azure. In three years, however, those ratios change: More respondents say they plan to use Azure compared to AWS by a small, single-digit percentage point margin.

Tim Crawford, an independent CIO advisor at AVOA says he’s seen a shift in the market. “On the ground, I’ve seen folks sliding more toward using Azure than AWS in the corporate IT space,” he says. Most large businesses are already using some Microsoft products so adding Azure on to their existing enterprise license agreement is relatively easy. Crawford says Microsoft should be more forthcoming with big-name customer wins. Amazon, meanwhile, won’t be resting on its laurels in the cloud market, he says.

Overall, CIOs Morgan Stanley spoke with reported a strong willingness to use public cloud services. On average, CIOs expect 30% of application to be in the public cloud by the end of 2017; that’s up from 14% of their apps in the public cloud now. Even as IT budget growth is slowing (budgets are expected to grow at 3.7% this year, compared to 4.8% last year), cloud, business intelligence/analytics and security are the top spending priorities for CIOs this year, the survey found.

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