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The Pro Weekly: Why Software Vendors Are Moving to the Cloud

Welcome back to the Pro Weekly. We hope you’re enjoying The Information Pro. And here’s a reminder to respond to the new reader survey, for which you received an email yesterday. 

This week, we added 11 companies to the Cloud Database, bringing the total to 76. Collectively, those companies spend more than $13 billion annually on cloud computing services, most of that at Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. All 11 of the newly added companies use AWS for at least part of their cloud needs. 

The additions highlight a trend that may not have been obvious in the initial list: Software companies are moving to the cloud because that’s where their customers are or want to be. The biggest spenders among the new entries are SAP and Citrix, two software vendors born in the pre-cloud era that increasingly deliver their products via the cloud and are moving their own operations there. SAP spends more than $450 million annually on the cloud, according to our estimate. It ranks as the seventh-largest spender in our database, just behind Adobe, another software company that has aggressively moved both its products and operations to the cloud. 

Another new entrant to the database is New Relic, whose software monitors and manages access to corporate data and applications and which said earlier this year that it seeks to move all of its computing to the cloud. We estimate New Relic’s cloud spending at $30 million to $45 million annually across all three cloud giants. But its contract commitments imply it will spend closer to $100 million a year within a year or two. 

In our initial iteration of the database, security software firm SentinelOne spent the largest share of its revenue on the cloud—23%. It’s been displaced by self-driving–truck developer Aurora Innovation, which spends $58 million a year on the cloud—85% of its 2022 revenue. There are a couple of reasons for this anomaly. Self-driving technology of course depends highly on computing, and Aurora has leaned heavily on AWS since Amazon invested in the company in 2020. (Aurora previously worked with Google Cloud.) Equally important, Aurora hasn’t begun to sell its technology yet. All of its revenue comes from a partnership with Toyota to jointly develop self-driving vehicles. 

The additions highlight an important feature of The Information Pro: our commitment to expand and update our databases. The Creator Economy database, for example, launched in June 2021 with 50 companies. Today, it includes more than 325. We add companies regularly and deliver summaries of the new activity quarterly. We first published our Gigafactory Database, highlighting more than 50 proposed factories for electric vehicle batteries, in November. As new plants are proposed, we’ve added them, along with our assessment of how likely the plant is to be built. 

Org Chart Updates 

The Information Pro includes access to our Org Charts, which provide the names and reporting lines for 4,000 executives at nearly 40 companies. We’re continually updating the Org Charts too. 

Recent updates include Warner Bros. Discovery, showing the senior management layer of the company created from last year’s combination of WarnerMedia and Discovery. The chart identifies more than 70 senior people and shows that CEO David Zaslav has 17 direct reports, reflecting his strong hand on how the company is run. We’re also doing our best to keep up with the constant changes at Twitter. Our most recent chart shows that CEO Elon Musk also has 17 direct reports, including a large number of engineers from different parts of the organization. Stay tuned for more Org Charts and updates. 

What’s Next in The Information Pro

Look for results of the reader survey next week, in an article available exclusively to The Information Pro subscribers. 

Other The Information Pro Features You May Like

My colleague Cory reported Monday on plans by Navan (née TripActions) to go public later this year. That vaulted Navan to the top of our Tech IPO Tracker, assessing the chances of 32 firms with hopes of public listings to actually make it. The article includes lots of fascinating details of how Navan is run, which could alter its plans.

Thanks for reading! If you are interested in a team subscription to The Information Pro, please email The Information’s Senior Director of B2B Sales, Harry King, at [email protected] See you next week.

Scott Thurm is a senior editor at The Information. Prior to The Information, he was most recently business editor of WIRED. Earlier in his career, he spent nearly two decades as a reporter and editor at The Wall Street Journal.