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Shifts in Cloud Strategies, is it Rivalry or Evolution?

The Cloud race is getting hotter; the New Year began with major cloud vendors like Amazon and Microsoft announcing price cuts. Google responded to these price changes by announcing that its platform was still the most economical option through a company blog. So is the cloud rivalry all about pricing? Definitely not! So what shapes an enterprise cloud strategy if not pricing? The past few months saw some high-profile enterprises make changes in their cloud strategy. They tell the story of how the cloud space is evolving and how enterprises are getting over their fears of storing restricted data on somebody else’s servers, as the cloud keeps getting more secure.

Let’s take Amazon, it not only pioneered cloud computing but has spent the last decade popularizing the concept in the enterprise world.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has a product release schedule that’s enviable! It rolls out new features and services to millions of its users every year. News of high profile AWS users like Spotify and Apple shifting to Google has generated a lot of debate in the recent months.

From a Trickle to a Roar

When Spotify announced its plans to migrate to Google Cloud Platform, it left everyone baffled. The company had often been cited as a reference customer for amazon services. What was dismissed as a one-off instance by supporters of Amazon, soon turned into a headache when reports of Apple following spotify to Google Cloud surfaced.

So, are AWS users really looking for a better host?

Not really, unless you believe the overexcited folks on twitter who see this as the beginning of an end to Amazon’s dominance over the cloud market.

Let’s take a reality check
1. Dropbox reduced its use of Amazon’s storage service (s3) as it was pursuing an on-premise cloud strategy, which would require most of it users’ data to be stored in in-house data centers.

2. Apple may have shifted some of its workloads to Google Cloud Platform but it still continues to use AWS too. Apple also runs some of its operations on Microsoft Azure cloud. In Apple’s case, it’s simply following a multi-provider cloud strategy.

What is driving the shift in Cloud strategies?

The proponents of cloud computing marketed the paradigm as a solution to all, if not most enterprise IT challenges. Moving operations off-premise was not only going to bring significant cost and time savings but would also free enterprises from vendor lock-in. Adoption of cloud services would imply enterprises could shift all or part of their workloads to rival vendors if they were delivering better value on cost, performance and security aspects. This was the promise of Cloud computing. Enterprises are now seeing this promise delivered.

Why you need a fluid cloud strategy?

Cloud technology is only a decade old and is still evolving. Different vendors in cloud space are accumulating advantages in niche segments. For example, Google is leveraging its strengths in data processing to establish its dominance in big data segment. A small enterprise might do better with a vendor that’s having an edge in a particular segment. While large enterprises may use different vendors for different product/service lines for the same reasons. Shifts in consumer preferences, data laws and disruptive tech innovations are all capable of engineering a change in an enterprise cloud strategy and are unrelated to vendor-side dynamics. Most companies are still experimenting with their supplier and product strategy to figure the best vendor mix for their product/service matrix. Therefore it’s pointless to discuss enterprise cloud strategies in absolute terms. All of the enterprise IT workloads may not operate on the cloud, only some of them might be. Similarly, an enterprise may have multiple cloud vendors servicing its different product or service lines. The reality is, firms are keeping their cloud strategy fluid to respond to changes in vendor and business environments. A fluid strategy also has a positive impact on the cloud ecosystem as it pushes providers to innovate.

But one thing is certain, as prices of cloud services continue to drop and providers add more functionality and features to their cloud platforms we will see greater adoption of cloud services in the future.

To know more about how Google Cloud can impact your business and plan your enterprise cloud strategy, download this free e-book;

A complete guide to the google cloud platform_CTA

Murali Dodda is a Cloud Technology Specialist with over 15 years of experience. He graduated from the prestigious IIT Madras. Murali provides 'technology and business leadership' to startups and has overseen successful exits for several of them. He is currently leading a team of technologists at Bitmin, a hot new startup delivering cloud services. Murali uses his weekends to catch up on the latest developments in technology innovation, product development, and entrepreneurship domains. Being an enthusiastic blogger, he shares exciting developments & his experiences with designing & deploying cloud strategies through his blog. If you want an inside view of cloud deployment for real-world clients, follow this blog.

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