General Industry Update

The Flexera 2024 State of the Cloud Report, often regarded as a benchmark industry study, was released in March. Drawing from a survey of 753 cloud decision-makers and users globally, the report sheds light on the strategies employed by organizations to navigate use of the cloud and underscores key trends and challenges shaping the cloud computing industry.

The report finds that cloud usage is on the rise, with nearly half of all workloads and data now hosted in the public cloud. It also reveals a widespread adoption of multi-cloud strategies, with 89% of respondents employing them—a slight increase from the previous year. Notably, hybrid cloud strategies are maturing, with an increasing number of businesses looking to hybrid deployments as a way to manage costs, including for software licensing in the cloud.

And it is the cost of managing cloud expenses that has emerged as the primary challenge for the second consecutive year, surpassing security concerns. A significant portion of respondents (36%) spend more than $12 million annually on public cloud services (up from 29% last year), indicating a growing trend in migrating workloads to the cloud and prioritizing cost optimization initiatives. Many companies report an increasingly centralized approach to cloud management as a way to deal with top challenges, including spending, security, and expertise.

As for the overall competitive landscape, the report shows that AWS and Azure continue to vie for market dominance.¹ As part of their effort to maintain supremacy (Amazon holds about twice the cloud services market share of Microsoft), AWS announced it plans to spend nearly $150 billion in the next 15 years on data centers to handle the computing power needs of the anticipated boom in AI applications and services. This spending is on top of the $148 billion Amazon has already committed to build data centers around the world.

With this new round of spending, AWS plans to expand existing data centres in Virginia and Oregon and build new facilities in Mississippi, Saudi Arabia, and Malaysia.²

Company Specific Updates

Oracle Corp

Oracle’s stock surged to record highs in March following the announcement of better-than-expected fiscal Q3 earnings. The new high passed the previous high set in September 2023 and was the stock’s most significant single-day gain since December 10, 2021.

Oracle reported revenue of $13.28 billion for the quarter. The company’s cloud services and license support business (the company’s largest business) was up 12% in sales to $9.96 billion, surpassing analyst forecasts.

Analysts emphasized the pivotal role of Oracle’s cloud infrastructure business in shaping its equity narrative. They expressed heightened confidence in the demand outlook, particularly citing encouraging AI backlog numbers and the potential benefits to Oracle’s database business from AI-driven cloud migration projected for 2024/2025.³


SAP SE announced in March that it aims to boost its cloud revenue growth through AI initiatives.

In January, the German software giant established the role of chief AI officer, filled by Philipp Herzig, to spearhead AI integration across its services. The company emphasized AI’s strategic importance in accelerating the transition to cloud services, with certain AI offerings exclusively available to business cloud users. SAP boasts over 24,000 customers utilizing its AI tools, with less than 1% still reliant on on-premise systems. Herzig highlights the ease of deploying AI services for cloud users, requiring minimal retraining.

SAP’s strategy includes investing over $1 billion in AI over two years, backing AI startups like Aleph Alpha, Anthropic, and Cohere, and collaborating with major cloud providers such as Amazon and Google. This commitment to AI has propelled SAP’s market value, with shares climbing over 27% year-to-date, making it the highest-valued company on Germany’s DAX index.⁴

Investing in Cloud Computing with DATA ETF

If you’re interested in investing in a cloud computing ETF, consider the Evolve Cloud Computing Index Fund (DATA ETF), Canada’s first cloud computing ETF. DATA ETF invests primarily in equity securities of companies located domestically or internationally that have business operations in the field of cloud computing. To learn more about DATA ETF, please click here:

Portfolio Strategy and Activity

For the month, Oracle Corp made the largest contribution to the Fund, followed by Alphabet Inc and MicroStrategy Incorporated. The largest detractors to performance for the month were Snowflake Inc, followed by Zscaler Inc and MongoDB Inc.



  1. “Flexera 2024 State of the Cloud Report,” Flexera, March 2024,
  2. Day, M., “Amazon Bets $150 Billion on Data Centers Required for AI Boom,” Bloomberg, March 28, 2024;
  3. Koller, A., “Oracle shares surge almost 12% and close at a record,” CNBC, March 12, 2024;
  4. Cantrill, A., “SAP Sees AI as Shortcut to Faster Cloud Revenue Growth,” Bloomberg, March 7, 2024;

Header image source: Getty Images Credit: Just_Super

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