Though Amazon.com (AMZN - Get Report) , Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) and Alphabet/Google's (GOOGL - Get Report) public cloud platforms have been collectively taking a lot of share from smaller rivals, IBM (IBM - Get Report) insists it can hold its own.

The 2018 version of research firm's Gartner's cloud infrastructure (IaaS) Magic Quadrant report suggests Amazon, Microsoft and to a lesser extent Google have put more distance between themselves and other IaaS players. All three companies are now labeled as "Leaders" by Gartner, while IBM, Oracle (ORCL - Get Report) and Alibaba (BABA - Get Report)  (tops in China) are now labeled as "Niche Players" rather than "Visionaries." And eight other firms, including CenturyLink (CTL - Get Report) , Rackspace and Dell EMC's Virtustream unit, have been thrown out of Gartner's report altogether.

IBM did, however, get some praise for its ability to migrate mainframe clients to its cloud, as well as its large global footprint. In a talk with TheStreet, Jason McGee, the CTO of IBM's Cloud Platform unit, argued Big Blue's strong support for hybrid clouds is a competitive strength, as are unique offerings in fields such as security, blockchain solutions and AI/machine learning (Watson). He also noted IBM's cloud partnerships with the likes of Red Hat (RHT) , New Relic (NEWR - Get Report) and Box (BOX - Get Report) .

Such strengths should allow IBM to remain a notable public cloud player in the years to come. However, Amazon, Microsoft and Google look as well-positioned as ever to gain share, given their massive infrastructure scale, big R&D investments and sizable developer and partner ecosystems.

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