The War Of Cloud Computing Services Has Just Started (P.1)
A completely wrong prediction of the IBM founder is now a very accurate prediction about the cloud computing technology. Thomas Watson, IBM's founder once predicted in a pessimistic way that: "I think the global market will only need about five computers."
Although this prediction was proved to be completely wrong and now people have hundreds of millions of personal computers, Watson's prediction seems to become a reality soon.
After years of investing in server farms, software stacks, middleware, disaster recovery systems, security solutions and network solutions, technology companies in particular and businesses in general realized that the investment of time and money on private clouds did not help to bring significant differences as the initial targets.
Nearly all global businesses, from big enterprises, such as General Electric, Coca Cola, to small companies, are using the same computers to perform similar tasks. Few companies have the technical ability and knowledge to perform these tasks effectively. The number of companies which can attain a large enough scale to optimize the economic efficiency coming from investments in computer systems are even fewer.
Today, as Watson pointed out, there are only about 5 to 10 ‘computers’ (or, more accurately, cloud computing services) can operate at a large enough scale to compete on price and performance. Of course, companies that are large enough to run one of these cloud computing services will be the most powerful companies in the world.
Although the SaaS model has been continuously growing in recent years, cloud computing is still a fledgling sector. You can imagine today’s cloud computing technology as a PC in 1983, a smartphone in 2003, or a search service in 1998.
The king of the cloud computing world - Amazon Web Services, with the 10-year-operation, only earns about 10 billion dollars in revenue each year. When comparing this figure with the amount of trillions of dollars being invested in the company’s IT infrastructure, you can see that could computing is still holding huge potentials.
Amazon, Microsoft and Google might face with numerous difficulties, but those battles were just the start of a war which might last for decades.
Just like the names that were at the forefront of developing new areas, Amazon brought more features at a lower price while expanding the business sector to increase the company’s market share. However, when we pay too much attention to the delay of trying to create own clouds of Google and Microsoft, we may forget the fact that the war of cloud computing providers will not end in overnight.
For example, in November, Google suddenly recruited the founder, who also holding the CEO position of Vmware, to lead its cloud computing segment. Within a day, Google found the key to open up the huge potential of the company - which has been proven through Search, Gmail, YouTube, and Maps. It is Diane Greene, one of the most respected leaders of today’s Silicon Valley and the one who has also pioneered the virtualization technology for nearly 20 years.
Employing a talented minister to lead its troops, Google was able to solve the issues of the Google Cloud Platform, which is: finding attractive technology offerings, build a developing a better ecosystem and especially being patient enough to convince the most conservative clients.
Within a few weeks, this change brought encouraging results. Spotify, the music streaming service with the number of premium users much higher than Apple, left Amazon's cloud in order to change to Google. More importantly, some rumors said that Apple is quietly moving their iCloud from AWS to GCP.