The tech wars are ever-growing, with big names like Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon all in the running. When it comes to enterprise cloud solutions, Microsoft and Amazon have a strong lead over the competition, but one of their biggest rivals is ready to challenge that lead.
According to reports, analysts at Oppenheimer speculate that Apple could be readying to make a strong push into the enterprise cloud accounting market amid slowing hardware sales.
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The financial statistics seem to back that theory up. Reports said Apple is expected to boost its spending by 34 percent in 2016, totaling $15 billion — about $4 billion of that spend is expected to be funneled into major data centers.
This isn’t the first time Apple was reported to be planning such a move. Apple has already launched initiatives aimed at servicing the corporate market, most notably through its collaboration with IBM to build enterprise mobile apps.
Reports said Morgan Stanley analysts also speculated last week that Apple would be looking to target Amazon’s enterprise cloud market share. But according to Oppenheimer, Apple could be planning to launch its own Infrastructure-as-a-Service unit.
“Looking at Apple’s capex trajectory and recent continued data center builds, we believe there is a possibility the company is setting up an Infrastructure-as-a-Service offering,” one analyst at Oppenheimer said.
“It is apparent to us that by building out an IaaS offering to businesses, Apple may be able to drive its hardware business into the enterprise,” the analyst continued. “This would be an interesting development and is certainly a wild card.”
Research published last month revealed the likely path of enterprise cloud technology adoption. According to North Bridge Growth Equity and Venture Partners, there was a 9 percent increase in 2015 in the number of businesses that use some kind of cloud-based Software-as-a-Service tool compared to 2014.
In 10 years, the industry is likely to hit a valuation of more than $298 billion, the analysts added.