Google parent company Alphabet praised the growth of its cloud division in a quarter which saw it report its slowest revenue growth since 2015.
Total revenue for the tech giant was $41.2bn for the three months ending 31 March, a rise of 13 per cent on the same period last year.
Its cloud division - which houses the likes of Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and G-Suite - shot up 52 per cent year-on-year to $2.8bn, with the growth rate of GCP "meaningfully higher than the growth rate of cloud overall", according to CFO Ruth Porat.
Cloud was one of the key drivers of growth, along with Search and Youtube, in a quarter that saw the internet giant's advertising revenue nosedive as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai told investors on the earnings call (transcribed by Seeking Alpha) that it was "deeply committed" to investing in its cloud arm, especially as the pandemic has changed the work environments for millions worldwide.
"The shift over time on computing to ambient computing is something we're going to be deeply committed to and continue to invest there," he said.
"Cloud and productivity software for businesses of all sizes is a deep area of investment and so…we continue to focus anywhere we think the actual work we are doing is based on deep technology, deep computing, a deep computational scale is the kind of investments we think still stand the test of time.
"Obviously, consumption gets impacted depending on the sectors which companies are in, so that has some correlation with the general underlying performance of that sector.
"That's something we'll have to wait and see how it develops. But the teams are doing well and it's an area where we are committed to the course we are on and investing deeply for the long run."
Google previously vowed to increase its headcount by 20 per cent this year, but has now rowed back, telling analysts it will also be decelerating its headcount for the remainder of 2020.
CFO Porat added that of the 4,149 people hired since Q419, the majority were to the cloud division in technical and sales roles.
"With respect to the implications of the global crisis for Google Cloud, we're proud of the accelerated traction we achieved across sectors, including public sector and healthcare for disease monitoring and control, working with leading retailers on demand forecasting working with companies across media and communications to enhance their customer service and across industries on supply chain optimisation," she said on the same call.
Despite the success of the Cloud division, the tech giant saw advertising revenue plummet in the first quarter as the COVID-19 crisis turned into an official pandemic.
CFO Porat told analysts that she expects the next quarter to be a "difficult" one for its advertising business.
"It was a tale of two quarters with strong results across our revenue lines for January and February followed by an abrupt decline in March in our advertising revenues, as governments globally instituted stay at home orders in response to COVID-19," explained Porat.
"A key signal to monitor is macroeconomic performance which is tended to be correlated with advertising spend. As of today, we anticipate that the second quarter will be a difficult one for our advertising business."
CEO Pichai added that overall capital expenditure would see a "modest" decrease as it slows the pace of building out offices and datacentres, anticipating infrastructure spend to equal that of 2019.
"We are also recalibrating the focus and pace of our investments in areas like datacentres and machines," he said.
"We'll continue to build on the internal tools, support systems and infrastructure we have built over the years and creating sustainable value. We'll be optimising the way our datacentres work and prioritising strategic areas of investment where we need to support our users and partners.
"Overall, we anticipate technical infrastructure investment to remain at roughly the same level as in 2019 with relatively more spend on servers than on datacentre construction."
Big Blue scraps financial targets for 2020 amid coronavirus uncertainty, while analysts probe newly appointed CEO Arvind Krishna on bringing firm back to growth
Economic and political headwinds take toll on Chinese vendor's topline
Government will sink £250m into the fund and expects remaining half to be matched by private investors
One-third of small businesses have furloughed at least 75 per cent of their workforce, according to the British Chambers of Commerce
Sales boss Andy Travers and marketing boss Barrie Desmond open up on the distributor's growth areas and how it is helping partners to become MSPs
Firm to leave current base after nearly 20 years
BT's Helen Slinger, Cisco's Angela Whitty and Phoenix Software's Sam Mudd among the judges that will be picking this year's winners
Vendor plans long-term investment as cloud unit one of its triumphs in mixed Q1 results