Amazon is one of the most well-known businesses in the world. It revolutionized the retail industry, has become a major player in the creation and distribution of video content and has posted astronomical gains since becoming a publicly traded company.

But while Amazon might be best known as the online shop you can buy just about anything from, a massive portion of its value comes from its cloud-computing business, Amazon Web Services. 

According to the New York Times, A.W.S. accounted for most of Amazon’s overall profits. The report will probably surprise a good number of readers, but it also exposes a potential vulnerability that other tech giants may potentially exploit.

In a separate piece from the Times, Jim Kerstetter wonders whether indirect competitors might move to undercut Amazon. He references Google, IBM and Oracle as potentially growing players in the cloud-computing field. It would be a development representative of the wider growth of cloud solutions in 2017.

Amazon is unlikely to cede its grasp on the retail aspect of its operations, which of course accounts for a large chunk of its income, but potential moves from the aforementioned players could lead to a battle with numerous combatants backed by almost limitless resources.

In effort to syphon off customers from Amazon, Kerstetter posits that, “Few would be surprised if the two companies [IBM and Google] cut prices even further to draw away A.W.S. customers.” 

So while the industry may be headed for a showdown, users of the cloud-based services provided by three of the world’s most influential tech companies could be the ultimate beneficiaries.