Canalys: Global Cloud Services Spending up 16% in Q3
Global spending on cloud infrastructure services reached US$73.5 billion in Q3 2023, a 16% year-on-year increase, according to market research from Canalys. Q3 growth remained consistent with the previous quarter. The impact of enterprise IT spending cuts on the cloud services market is slowly easing. In Q3 2023, the top three cloud providers – AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud – jointly grew by 20%, slightly outpacing the overall market and accounting for 65% of total spending. AWS mirrored its performance in the previous quarter, while Microsoft saw an uptick in its growth rate. Google Cloud, however, saw a drop in its rate in Q3 2023, according to Canalys.
While the broader market continues to grapple with the repercussions of cost-cutting behavior, the performance of the leading cloud vendors hints at a shift in the market dynamic, according to the report. Growing demand for AI solutions is gradually offsetting the impact of reduced IT spending as enterprises begin to invest in cloud computing to support AI strategies.
“Generative AI unlocks a wealth of opportunities for channel partners to venture into new areas of business growth,” said Alex Smith, VP at Canalys. “The big cloud players and their partners can seize this exponential growth opportunity by identifying customers with an appetite for AI solutions, while simultaneously strengthening their AI capabilities and offering comprehensive portfolios of AI-related products and services to address these evolving needs.”
Amazon Web Services (AWS) continued to dominate the cloud infrastructure services market in Q3 2023, with a stable market share of 31%, and year-on-year growth of 12%. Microsoft Azure held second place in the cloud infrastructure services market in Q3 with a 25% market share. Following seven consecutive quarters of slowing year-on-year growth, it saw an uptick in its growth rate, which was up 29% compared with Q3 last year. Google Cloud reached a market share of 10% in Q3 2023 after growing 24% year on year, securing third place in the cloud infrastructure services market.
Canalys defines cloud infrastructure services as those services that provide infrastructure-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service, either on dedicated hosted private infrastructure or shared public infrastructure. This excludes software-as-a-service expenditure directly but includes revenue generated from the infrastructure services being consumed to host and operate them.
To succeed in this rapidly evolving landscape, channel partners must stay ahead of the game by establishing robust AI strategies and investing in strategic AI partnerships.”
WatchGuard Threat Lab Analysts Release 2024 Cybersecurity Predictions
WatchGuard Technologies has released its 2024 Cybersecurity Predictions, covering the most prominent attacks and security trends anticipated by their research team for the coming year.
“Every new technology trend opens up new attack vectors for cybercriminals,” said Corey Nachreiner, chief security officer at WatchGuard Technologies. “In 2024, the emerging threats targeting companies and individuals will be even more intense, complicated, and difficult to manage. With an ongoing cybersecurity skills shortage, the need for MSPs, unified security, and automated platforms to bolster cybersecurity and protect organizations from the ever-evolving threat landscape have never been greater.”
Among the highlights, companies and individuals are experimenting with large language models (LLMs) to increase operational efficiency. But threat actors are learning how to exploit LLMs as well. During 2024, the WatchGuard Threat Lab predicts that a smart prompt engineer ‒ whether a criminal attacker or researcher ‒ will crack the code and manipulate an LLM into leaking private data.
In addition, with approximately 3.4 million open cybersecurity jobs, and fierce competition for the talent that is available, more small- to midsized companies will turn to trusted managed service providers and security service providers to protect them in 2024. To accommodate growing demand and scarce staffing resources, MSPs and MSSPs will double down on unified security platforms with heavy automation using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).
Cybercriminals can already buy tools on the underground that send spam email, automatically craft convincing texts, and scrape the Internet and social media for a particular target’s information and connections, but a lot of these tools are still manual and require attackers to target one user or group at a time. Well-formatted procedural tasks like these are perfect for automation via artificial intelligence and machine learning, making it likely that AI-powered tools will emerge as best sellers on the dark web in 2024.
While VoIP and automation technology make it easy to mass dial thousands of numbers, once a potential victim has been baited onto a call, it still takes a human scammer to reel them in. This system limits the scale of vishing operations. But in 2024 this could change. WatchGuard predicts that the combination of convincing deepfake audio and LLMs capable of carrying on conversations with unsuspecting victims will greatly increase the scale and volume of vishing calls. What’s more, they may not even require a human threat actor’s participation.
Virtual and mixed reality (VR/MR) headsets are beginning to gain mass appeal. However, wherever new and useful technologies emerge, criminal and malicious hackers follow. In 2024, Threat Lab researchers forecast that either a researcher or malicious hacker will find a technique to gather some of the sensor data from VR/MR headsets to recreate the environment users are playing in.
While quick response (QR) codes have been around for a long time, mainstream usage has exploded in recent years. Threat Lab analysts expect to see a major, headline-stealing hack in 2024 caused by an employee following a QR code to a malicious destination.
These predictions give a heads up to channel partners looking to raise their game in the IT security space, and determine where to invest resources and training as well as sales activities.
Barracuda Expands Leadership Team to Accelerate MSP Business
Barracuda Networks, a Campbell, California-based security vendor, has announced that it has appointed Patrick O’Donnell as the company’s SVP of Worldwide MSP Sales. O’Donnell’s previous worldwide leadership experience includes roles at IBM and GE.
Most recently, he served as Vice President of North America Sales at Datto, where he focused on that company’s MSP business. In his new role at Barracuda, Patrick will be responsible for accelerating Barracuda’s MSP sales, driving the go-to-market strategy, execution, and programs for the sale of security, data protection, and Managed XDR offerings through the channel.
“We are pleased to welcome Patrick to the Barracuda team,” said Neal Bradbury, SVP, MSP Business at Barracuda. “As we continue our journey with our channel partners, Patrick brings valuable knowledge and expertise that will help us generate more opportunities for Barracuda and our partners to drives sales growth and achieve shared success.”
“I’m excited to join Barracuda and eager to collaborate with the team to build on the tremendous partner momentum they have established within the channel,” said O’Donnell. “Managed service providers are an increasingly important part of the channel ecosystem, and through its growing investments, Barracuda is committed to deliver industry-leading value to its growing partner base.”
Barracuda claims more than 200,000 customers for their cloud-first, enterprise-grade security solutions.
Partners will be watching the evolution of the strategy under the recently-hired executive.