According to IDC’s latest data, in the first quarter of 2021 (Q121), the global cloud infrastructure (including computing and storage infrastructure products in dedicated and shared environments) market grew by 12.5% year-on-year to reach 15.1 billion U.S. dollars, and non-cloud infrastructure market grew by 6.3% year-on-year to US$13.5 billion.

As the market and the world begin to slowly recover from the new crown pneumonia pandemic, the economic sectors that have suffered the most income losses are returning to growth. The lasting impact of this pandemic on the IT infrastructure market will be: service providers rely more on cloud platforms to deliver business, education, and social applications, and organizations pay more attention to business continuity and risk management, all of which will help promote digital transformation plan, and increase the adoption of as-a-service delivery models.

In the first quarter of 2021, global shared cloud infrastructure spending increased by 11.6% year-on-year to reach 10.3 billion US dollars. IDC predicts that shared cloud infrastructure spending will exceed non-cloud infrastructure spending in the near future. In the first quarter of 2021, dedicated cloud infrastructure spending increased by 14.7% year-on-year to $4.8 billion, of which 45.5% were deployed at customer sites. IDC predicts that the cloud infrastructure market will surpass the non-cloud infrastructure market throughout the forecast cycle.

With a healthy performance in the first quarter and the overall infrastructure market starting to recover from the pandemic, IDC predicts that cloud infrastructure spending will increase by 12.9% to $74.6 billion in 2021, while non-cloud infrastructure is expected to increase by 2.7% to 58.5 billion U.S. dollars after two years of decline. For the whole year, shared cloud infrastructure is expected to grow by 12.2% year-on-year to US$51.8 billion, and spending on dedicated cloud infrastructure will grow by 14.7% to US$22.7 billion.

In the report, IDC divides service providers into: cloud service providers, digital service providers, communication service providers, and managed service providers. In the first quarter of 2021, service providers as a whole spent US$15.5 billion on computing and storage infrastructure, a year-on-year increase of 12.5%, accounting for 54.0% of total computing and storage infrastructure expenditures. IDC predicts that service providers’ computing and storage expenditures will reach 74.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2021, an annual increase of 11.1%.

In terms of regions, in the first quarter of 2021, cloud infrastructure spending in most regions has increased, including Canada (40.3%), China (35.0%) and APecJC (the Asia-Pacific region excluding Japan and China) (28.8%) has the highest annual growth rate. Western Europe grew by 10.8%, the United States grew by 4.5%, and Japan fell by 1.1%. Results for smaller regions were mixed, with an overall increase of 0.1%.

At the supplier level, in the first quarter of 2021, all major suppliers have achieved growth in cloud infrastructure revenue, with the highest growth rates being Lenovo (38.2%) and Huawei (37.9%). Compared with the first quarter of last year, the market shares of Huawei, Lenovo and HPE/H3C have all increased.

In the long run, IDC predicts that during the forecast period from 2021 to 2025, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of global computing and storage cloud infrastructure spending will be 11.3%, and will reach 112.9 billion U.S. dollars by 2025, accounting for computing and storage  66.1% of total infrastructure expenditure. Shared cloud infrastructure spending will account for 67.5%, with a compound annual growth rate of 10.5%. Dedicated cloud infrastructure spending is in line with an annual growth rate of 13.1%. Non-cloud infrastructure spending will rebound slightly in 2021, but it will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 0.3% during the forecast period and is expected to reach 57.9 billion U.S. dollars in 2025. Service providers’ spending on computing and storage infrastructure is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 10.1%, reaching US$108.8 billion by 2025.