Oracle’s and IBM’s IaaS cloud strategy: Talk big, invest little

They’re both woefully behind AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud, but you wouldn’t know it from their Scrooge-like investments in their cloud platforms

Become An Insider

Sign up now and get FREE access to hundreds of Insider articles, guides, reviews, interviews, blogs, and other premium content. Learn more.

The cloud may rapidly be moving into serverless computing, but winning the cloud competition requires lots (and lots) of servers. Indeed, if you want to see who is winning biggest in IaaS, you simply need to follow the money to Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure.

By contrast, IBM and Oracle have brought an Ebeneezer Scrooge mentality to cloud capex, with serious consequences, as Platformonomics managing director Charles Fitzgerald has highlighted: “the big clouds [AWS, Microsoft, and Google] will leverage their platforms and move up from the infrastructure layer to take an ever larger bite out of overall IT spend, i.e. IBM and Oracle’s customer bases.”

According to Gartner’s most recent Magic Quadrant, the infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) market has separated into big winners and big losers. AWS and Microsoft occupy the former camp while Alibaba (big in China but nonexistent everywhere else), Oracle, and IBM compete for last place. Google, for its part, straddles the middle ground: lacking the breadth of services that AWS and Microsoft Azure have but, Gartner says, it is “most differentiated on the forward edge of IT, with deep investments in analytics and [machine learning],” with customers building “applications that are anchored by BigQuery.”

This gets Google a pass into the Leaders quadrant at Gartner. IBM and Oracle, however, don’t get the same treatment, because they don’t offer the same hope for the future.

But not everyone agrees with this assessment. Amalgam Insights analyst Hyoun Park, for example, acknowledges Google’s lead over the “niche player” stragglers, but believes “eventually Oracle will pass Google simply because Oracle is an enterprise tech company and Google isn’t.” With a small fraction of IT workloads having moved to public clouds, in theory there’s much for Oracle (and IBM) to play for.

To continue reading this article register now