Alibaba’s cloud computing business plans to hire an additional 5,000 technology staff globally over the next 10 months as it works to ramp up its cloud presence around the world.
The proposed hiring spree comes several weeks after the company revealed it would invest 200 billion yuan (US$28 billion) in its cloud infrastructure over the coming three years in an effort to accelerate digital transformation for businesses, especially in wake of Covid-19.
Indeed, the move to pledge the multibillion-dollar investment followed on from a boom in demand for business software as the coronavirus outbreak peaked in China.
The company said in a statement at the time that it would spend the funds on semiconductor and operating system development as well as building out its data centre infrastructure.
According to Alibaba Cloud, the new jobs will be created in various areas, including networks, databases, servers, chips and artificial intelligence.
“In light of the fast-growing demand of digital shift from global clients in all sectors, we are continuing with our commitment to offering world-class cloud services,” Alibaba Cloud Intelligence president Jeff Zhang said.
“To move forward [at] full speed, we are not only building trusted cloud technologies and services, but also investing in worldwide IT talents who are pioneering the development of cutting-edge cloud and data intelligence technologies.”
While ranked by Gartner as the largest cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) provider by market share in Asia Pacific, recent figures by Synergy research put Alibaba Cloud in fourth position globally after the worldwide leaders, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform, in terms of cloud infrastructure services market share.
A big part of Alibaba Cloud’s inclusion on the top four global list is likely to stem from the company’s home Chinese market, where it represents the largest and most likely cloud provider for many businesses in the country.
However, the company has made substantial inroads in plenty of other markets, and not just across the Asia Pacific region, but also in the United States, Europe and the United Kingdom, among other areas.
With the cloud provider already striking strategic partnerships with the likes of Salesforce and leaning on the networks provided by distributors and channel partners, Alibaba Cloud has already been on track to further cement its position among the top four cloud providers globally.
Now, the fresh investment plans and impending hiring spree, along with a global market that is drawing on cloud services like never before amid the coronavirus pandemic, Alibaba Cloud is poised to take its global attack to the next level.
Certainly, the timing seems ripe. Industry research firm Canalys noted in March that, in the wake of the disruptions arising from COVID-19, Chinese cloud service providers were expected to make their move and expand outside of the country with free offerings, which include Alibaba Cloud, Tencent Cloud and Baidu Cloud.
This is likely to be good news for the cloud-focused channel partners as well. Even with the rise in international uncertainty, there still appears to be a rise in demand for certain products, as a Canalys survey found 26 per cent of partners are seeing customer demand grow.
Although some of this is likely to be short-term hoarding, cloud migration technology is going strong, particularly in Australia and China, as well as managed security, remote management and monitoring solutions, the Canalys research suggested.