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cloud-computing-datatrendThe four most important criteria for developers who are assessing public-cloud providers are infrastructure, analytics, migration services and tools, Forrester Research said in a publication today. By those criteria, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure lead the pack, with Google and IBM offering “competitive options” and four others — CenturyLink, Oracle, Salesforce and SAP — “lagging behind,” according to a new Forrester study.

Variations among the eight services make direct comparisons difficult, the research firm conceded in the report, “The Forrester Wave: Global Public Cloud Platforms for Enterprise Developers, Q32016.” But each targets two groups of buyers: developers and the managers who support them.

Segment leaders AWS and Microsoft “are very close” to each other, Forrester said. “Microsoft currently has a slight advantage in developer experience and development services. AWS has the largest customer and partner rosters, by far the most platform revenues, and the strongest current strategy to win enterprise customers.”

IBM, classified along with Google as a “strong performer,” is “poised to join the leaders in the next two years” and is a particularly good choice for organizations with complex hybrid-cloud requirements, the report said. It made no such prediction about Google, noting that “most enterprises are not yet ready to ‘run like Google.'”

Among the others, all labeled “contenders,” Oracle is immature but committed the public cloud, Salesforce doesn’t offer much infrastructure-configuration control or support hybrid cloud, CenturyLink lacks developer services and SAP’s Hana Cloud Platform is strongly oriented toward SAP’s own business offerings.

Forrester used vendor surveys, customer surveys and product demos to arrive at its conclusions.

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