I read an interesting article talking about AI and how Google will win the cloud wars. It was a good article overall but missing some interesting arguments. First off I believe the cloud market has evolved away from only being one piece. So the article focusing on one part, is flawed. It is a good flaw to have, and I suspect given the market changes in the past 24 months it is a niche that Google may quickly dominate.
It is one, however with a flaw as I stated. I always tell people I mentor that they need to see both sides. The article predicts that because of Community and because of AI, Google will complete the climb from last to first in the next eight years (resulting in Google being the top cloud provider globally by 2025). It is written from a FOSS bias, and that has to be noted. FOSS, or free and open source software, is a trend that the market will continue to see evolve. The reality of FOSS, however, is that at best it brings a security risk to your organization. Yes, commercial off the shelf or COTs software also has security flaws, but you have a mechanism to recoup the loss by suing the company that sold the software. There is no one to sue but yourself in the FOSS world.
But the reality of community development that the author misses right now is the reality of the time span in question. Once upon a time, say oh about eight years ago in fact (about the time that Google will rise hum is that a coincidence) most developers were Windows first and mobile second. Now, most developers are mobile first and cloud second. Google’s advantage in mobile is they are the manager of the Android solutions. But those developers are also building solutions on the iOS platform as well, so they are not wholly Google solution developers. You can’t count them as Google only.
The reality of community today is the emergence of Social Media. That plus the appearance of VR/AR and the growing cloud market makes for an interesting conversation. I applaud the author for taking a risk, but I worry that in fact, they missed the shift in the market. The reality of cloud today is the changing environment. Six years ago Community Cloud was the path of least resistance. The reality of organizations was they were moving from the nebulous concept “private cloud” to the safe confines of community cloud solutions. There are many deployed for government entities globally. But the evolution is now more towards the Hybrid cloud, and that is where Google is weakest. Microsoft and Amazon as well as IBM, all three have known published Identity management solutions, sometimes called IDM solutions. Google was the last of the four to embrace the US Government’s mandated FedRAMP certification. While DART is an excellent system for building solutions, it is focused on the Google Cloud. You can turn around and use Eclipse from IBM or Visual Studio from Microsoft and still do what you do in Dart, as well as develop for many other platforms.
Personally, I see the new cloud solutions coming from the broader write once, only have to rewrite a little to push and publish to other solutions rather than the write once and deploy once a model. The new hybrid cloud reality moves us more into the realm of cloud catalogs and other interesting front end solutions that hide and obscure the backend. As we move the providers to commodity, Amazon, and Microsoft as well as IBM as much more attuned to the commodity market than Google is. It just hasn’t shown the understanding of that market, not from an end user non-enterprise but an enterprise commodity perspective.
Overall I think Google has a strong go-forward position. Personally, I think that they may move up further into the cloud world, but FOSS for their platform only has to evolve. I think the future of Hybrid Cloud solutions will be the reality of multiple cloud providers. You have two companies Microsoft and IBM with extensive experience in building and deploying enterprise solutions. You have a company, Amazon with extensive experience in the commodity market. Google is weak in both of them not one but both so I suspect while they are a player, they are not the path to tomorrow.
Like I said, it was a good well written article. Just a little too biased.