06 Jul 2021
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IDC: Cloud infrastructure spending held strong in Q1 2021

Cloud infrastructure spending reached $15.1 billion in 2021’s first quarter, representing an increase of 12.5% year over year, according to new data from IDC.

The cloud infrastructure umbrella includes compute and storage infrastructure products for cloud infrastructure as well as dedicated and shared environments. 

Shared cloud infrastructure spend increased 11.6% year over year in Q1 2021, hitting $10.3 billion, while spending on dedicated cloud infrastructure rose by 14.7% year over year during the same period to $4.8 billion with 45.5% of this amount deployed on customer premises.

IDC says these figures indicate global economies’ gradual emergence from the COVID-19 pandemic, with hard-hit sectors now returning to growth. The restrictions brought about by the pandemic continues to have a far-reaching impact on IT infrastructure — in particular, an increased reliance on cloud platforms for delivering commercial, educational, and social applications.

Cloud infrastructure also facilitates business continuity and risk management, IDC says, helping drive digital transformation initiatives and increase usage of as-a-service delivery models.

IDC’s projections for full-year 2021

After a promising start in the first quarter of the year, IDC forecasts cloud infrastructure to grow 12.9% to $74.6 billion for 2021, while non-cloud infrastructure is expected to grow 2.7% to $58.5 billion after two years of declines. 

Shared cloud infrastructure is expected to grow by 12.2% year over year to $51.8 billion for the full year, while spending on dedicated cloud infrastructure is expected to grow 14.7% to $22.7 billion for 2021.

As part of its report, IDC tracked and segmented service providers by how much compute and storage infrastructure they purchased — including cloud and non-cloud infrastructure.

These service provider segments are: cloud service providers, digital service providers, communications service providers, and managed service providers. In 1Q21, service providers as a group spent $15.5 billion on compute and storage infrastructure, growing 12.5% year over year, and accounting for 54.0% of total compute and storage infrastructure spending. IDC says it expects compute and storage spending by service providers to reach $74.7 billion for 2021, growing at 11.1% year over year.

Spending on cloud infrastructure increased across most regions in 1Q21, with the highest annual growth rates in Canada (40.3%), China (PRC) (35.0%), and Asia/Pacific excluding Japan and China (APeJC) (28.8%). Western Europe grew 10.8%, the United States grew 4.5%, and Japan declined 1.1%. 

At the vendor level, all major vendors grew their cloud infrastructure revenue in 1Q21, with the highest growth rates belonging to Lenovo (38.2%) and Huawei (37.9%). Huawei, Lenovo, and HPE/H3C each grew their market share compared to results from the prior year’s first quarter.

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