In US dollar terms, this figure was nearly US$10 billion more than the final quarter of 2019 and more than US$3 billion than 3Q 2020.
For the full year, spending grew to US$142 billion, up from US$107 billion in 2019.
The company said the quarterly expansion in expenditure was the biggest in dollar terms as the pandemic continued to drive demand for the cloud to support remote working and learning, ecommerce, content streaming, online gaming and collaboration.
Microsoft's Azure grew by more than 50% to take 20% of the global market.
Making up the top three was Google Cloud which took a 7% share. However, while AWS and Azure recorded big profits, Google Cloud suffered a loss of US$5.6 billion for the year.
“The rate of digitisation, led by cloud, is gathering pace," said Canalys research analyst Blake Murray. "Companies are now more confident about releasing budgets for business transformation.
“Large projects that were postponed earlier in the year are being re-prioritised, led by application modernisation, SAP migrations and workplace transformation.
"Healthcare, financial services and pharmaceuticals are among the industries leading the way, but even those under most pressure are diverting investments to cloud, opening up new revenue streams and diversifying business models.”
Canalys said as customers deployed different workloads across public, private and edge cloud infrastructure, they were seeking independent partners with capabilities across multiple cloud providers.
“Organisations are turning to trusted business partners to advise, implement, support and manage their cloud journeys, and articulate the real business value of cloud migration,” said Canalys chief analyst Alastair Edwards.
“Customer digital transformation projects are highly complex, requiring advanced consulting skills, combining deep technical skills with vertical expertise, which the cloud service providers are relying on partners to provide at scale.
"They are also turning to their partners to drive cloud consumption, and deliver full customer lifecycle support. As organisations start to consider moving more mission-critical workloads to the cloud, they will look to partners to define the right cloud platforms and strategies, as well as solve the most pressing issues around cost management, security, sovereignty and hybrid IT integration.”