Google's cloud push makes it a three-horse race

Google’s recent announcements broadcast its readiness to fight AWS and Microsoft for public cloud dominance

Google's cloud push makes it a three-horse race
Paolo Camera via Flickr (Creative Commons BY or BY-SA)

At Google Next last week, the company announced capabilities ranging from machine learning to identity and access management, as well as more big data options. Google is pushing forward with new cloud capabilities, including several for the enterprise.

Clearly, it’s a three-horse race in the cloud: AWS is way out ahead, and Microsoft is next in line, but way behind. Google seems to be in last place, but is increasing its efforts.

See, for example, its hiring of “enterprise-knowledgeable” executives. In addition, it featured the likes of Disney, Domino's, Spotify, Macy's, Heineken, and Best Buy among its biggest clients. Those are all great names.

I've been hard on Google in the past, with its late IaaS entry (it had a PaaS for years). Moreover, it had weak features that weren't a good fit for most enterprises. Fast-forward a few years and billions of dollars spent, and Google has become a strong contender. In fact, when it comes to storage and big data, it is the best in the cloud right now, at least for general-purpose use. Google has fixed some of its most gaping flaws.

Most expected that Google would fall off the radar. However, it has to make the cloud market work for the future of the company. Remember, Google was a third-tier search engine at one point before it focused on improving its online products, understanding that people would vote with their clicks. We know the rest of the story.

However, Microsoft is still a player and has done very little wrong. There’s no denying that AWS is in the lead, for good reason. Google could be the surprise in the marketplace that most did not see coming.


Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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