For a while the cloud market narrative has been:
1. It takes lot of money to become a competitive cloud provider
2. It is a three horse race with others falling behind
3. It is a good idea to have a multi-cloud strategy
This narrative is believed by many and is not considered controversial. While I agreed somewhat with #1 and #2 for a while, the evidence from the market is not supporting this narrative in whole.
I want to put forward a newer narrative and get your thoughts:
1. Public Cloud market has become a Blue Ocean market.
2. There is one player only in Public Cloud that is a natural leader and that is AWS
3. Microsoft and Google are working to extend their existing technology and they have slight overlap with cloud market, but they are not competing in the cloud market. *
4. Microsoft, Google, HP, EMC, IBM and others are fighting it out in the next generation data center market. **
5. There is no serious competition to AWS and it won’t emerge for few years ( this is in conflict with what I believed in 2014 and earlier this year)
*: Microsoft has expected hurdles — pressures from their sales team to continue selling on-prem software for higher margins. Pressures from investors and financial community to not rock the boat too much. Preference from lifers to continue life as it is as a Windows and Office company and continue shipping DVDs. There is still bit of hope left for Microsoft, but requires some brave steps by their Cloud leadership.
Google’s Cloud strategy is a cluster fck and shameful. Enormous engineering talent there is wasted because Google does not understand enterprise and is throwing shit to see what sticks. They have no plan and no clue unfortunately. They will do what sounds good for that day and I sense that they are doing short term things to generate buzz, with no focus on long term customer success. Google Cloud is headed to disaster, and is next to impossible to save it. Don’t be surprised if Google throws in the towel by end of 2016.
**: HP, IBM and EMC are becoming honest with themselves and are focusing on selling hardware and on-prem software/services, their marketing is slow to catch upto the strategy, but I expect them to do so soon. They will abandon public cloud completely and compete in the next generation data center market.
What does this mean ?
This means the Cloud market is pretty open. A vendor that focuses on customers and not fall into short term attractions can carve out a nice second place and hopefull start offering competition to AWS. I would watch Digital Ocean. AWS will not be threatened by neither Microsoft nor Google, they are too busy chasing their own tails.
Thats my opinion. Feel free to agree/disagree/argue on twitterz…