Microsoft recently released their Q4 earnings report, and the results are impressive. Analysts were projecting $29.21 billion in overall revenue but actual results were $30.09 billion, a 17% increase year-over-year. Per share, that shakes out to $1.13, a nickel more than the expected $1.08/share.
Most legacy, non-cloud based services increased in growth moderately or slowed slightly, but one area stood out: the cloud. Every year, as confidence in cloud technologies grows, more organizations begin investing their time, money, and data into its lofty embrace. In fact, the cloud market as a whole is expected to grow from $285 billion last year to $411 billion in 2020.
For Microsoft, the ‘commercial cloud’ includes Office 365, Dynamics 365, and the Azure public cloud. For the past year, this area has been growing remarkably quickly; in Q4 growth slowed slightly to a still-remarkable 53%. The results are just under $7 billion.
Of the commercial cloud, Azure remains the standout. Analysts predicted 80%-84% growth this quarter, down from 93% from Q3. Instead, Azure grew by a whopping 89%, continuing its run of nearly doubling in size every quarter. Microsoft didn’t disclose how this new growth translates to cash, but analysts estimate $2.05 billion.
Not too many years ago, cloud was seen as a chancy and inferior to tried-and-tested on-premises systems. The continued growth of the cloud market is testament to both the utility of cloud technologies and increasing customer confidence in the same. Whether a fully cloud deployment or a few features added to legacy systems in a hybrid setup, organizations everywhere are moving to take advantage of the cloud—and that’s reflected in the figures.
If you want to receive more industry news and useful tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@Cayosoft) and LinkedIn.