Global spending on cloud infrastructure services increased by 34% to a total of nearly $56 billion in the first quarter of 2022, driven by the need for resiliency and flexibility as businesses face supply chain problems and geopolitical upheaval, according to a report released Friday by analyst firm Canalys.\n\nMigrating workloads to the cloud, investing in data storage, and cloud-native application development have all been particular drivers of SMB (small and medium business) investment in the cloud, as they step up digital transformation projects, the report said. But large enterprises have also been ramping up their spending on cloud services \u2014 given infrastructure hardware shortages, and the potential for future price increases among cloud providers, big businesses have opted for hefty, long-term contracts in order to lock in pricing discounts with AWS, Azure and Google Cloud.\n\nCanalys research analyst Blake Murray said that digital resiliency is a key consideration for businesses of all sizes that are investing in the cloud infrastructure market \u2014 and that specialist cloud expertise is becoming a more and more valuable commodity.\n\nDigital resiliency is key to facing market challenges\n\n"Cloud has continued to be a hot market and transformation strategies are emphasizing digital resiliency to face the market challenges of today and tomorrow," he said in a statement. "To be effective in resiliency planning, customers are turning to channel partners with the technical and consulting skills to help them effectively embrace hyperscaler cloud services."\n\nConsequently, cloud-focused certification programs have been on the rise, and major systems integrators like Accenture, Deloitte and Tech Mahindra have all been snapping up employees with significant cloud engineering experience.\n\nWorldwide cloud infrastructure spending has been relatively steady over the past four years, according to Canalys \u2014 the low point over that period was the second quarter of 2020, the initial pandemic quarter, when growth was just over 30% in year-on-year terms, but the past several quarters have all seen figures close to 35%.\n\nOn the vendor side, the big three providers accounted for 62% of all cloud spending in the first quarter of 2022. The clear leader was AWS, which accounted for 33% of total cloud spending on its own, followed by Azure at 21% and Google Cloud at 8%. Despite its smaller overall market share, however, Google Cloud was the fastest grower in the big three, increasing its share by 54% over the past quarter, maintaining its focus on analytics, cybersecurity and AI among other areas and building out regional datacenters across the world.