A colleague of mine just sent me a very interesting article which was written by Eric Jhonsa for TheStreet. The article shows how cloud growth can sometimes be misleading, and he uses IBM, Microsoft and SAP as examples.
In the article, he goes through Microsoft, IBM and finally SAP.
Looking at IBM, the company reported its cloud services grew the company’s annual revenue run rate by 49% annually. Although, it should be noted that Big Blue’s Technology Services & Cloud Platforms segment saw revenue drop 0.5%, due to declining on-premise services demand. While IBM reported that its “cloud revenue” rose 30%, this is a tricky number, because IBM includes not just services in cloud revenue, but servers, software and other cloud related business as well.
SAP saw a 30% increase in cloud subscription and support revenue, and cloud bookings grew an extra 28%. But, SAP’s traditional software license and support business only saw an increase of 4%.
All of this to say, in order to properly understand the cloud market, one has to be careful look to look at the big picture, and not to view cloud growth in a vacuum. This mistake would allow companies to view little or no growth as something very different.