IDG Contributor Network: The cloud computing market is about to get a lot more competitive

The near monopoly a few companies have on hosting the internet may appear to be irreversible, but powerful economic and technological forces are leading us towards an internet no longer consolidated around datacenters. Instead, the software services you rely on will be deployed on computers that can be anywhere in from your pocket to a sleeping server room in a Fortune 500 company.

Why should you care about diversifying where our computing power comes from?

The public cloud is primarily owned by four tech conglomerates. Amazon: 40 percent market share, No. 12 on Fortune 500. Google, Microsoft, and IBM: 23 percent market share combined, Nos. 27, 28, and 32 on Fortune 500.

Amazon owns nearly half the market, and the top four providers — all of whom are among the largest and most diversified companies on earth — own 63 percent. That’s 63 percent of a $195 billion industry, which is expected to more than double in three years — a large slice of an enormous pie.

The problem with cloud computing market consolidation is that it’s not a siloed industry; nearly every industry in the world, be it B2B or consumer-facing, relies on computing power in some way. It’s not an exaggeration to say cloud companies have the ability to cripple entire economies with the flip of a switch — be it accidental or malicious.

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