This year marks the beginning of the second decade of Software as a Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud computing.
According to Pacific Crest analyst Brent Bracelin, Microsoft Corporation MSFT was late to the cloud computing game, but the company will make up for lost ground during the next decade. In fact, Bracelin believes Microsoft’s Azure could triple in size by 2020 to a more than $40 billion business.
“Strong momentum with Office 365 and Azure segments, which are approaching $10 million in combined revenue yet still growing 63% and 76% y/y, respectively, increases our confidence that Microsoft should have a more meaningful role as a new leader, not laggard, in the Second Decade of SaaS,” he explains.
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Pacific Crest anticipates that the annualized run-rate on cloud services could balloon from $55 billion today to $200 billion within the next four years, meaning $145 billion in new business is up for grabs. Bracelin projects that Microsoft could be the largest SaaS vendor within four years.
The firm believes artificial intelligence will play a central role in the next decade of SaaS, and Microsoft is well-positioned as a leader in artificial intelligence technology.
While Amazon.com, Inc. AMZN’s AWS has dominated the first decade of the cloud game, Bracelin is expecting Microsoft to step up to the plate in a big way in coming years.
Pacific Crest maintained an Overweight rating and $65 target on Microsoft.
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