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Is the Public Cloud top dog changing? 6 Indicators to consider.

We’ve all seen the Magic Quadrants from Gartner showing Amazon Web Services (AWS) way ahead of everyone else in the public cloud space. However, when you pull back the curtain and look at the following six indicators you find that the race for #1 is much closer than you think and a new leader could be right around the corner or already here.

1. Revenue – AWS is on track after their first quarter of 2017 for an annual revenue of $14 billion while Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says they are on track to surpass $15.2 billion. This looks like a close race and we’ll see who lives up to their promises in the upcoming year.

2. Completeness of offerings – Not all cloud providers are created equal. While Amazon and Google are absolute powerhouses when it comes to Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) their Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) businesses are just not there yet when compared to Microsoft’s Azure service. Microsoft has a robust offering at each layer of their cloud services. Having a strong offering in all three areas translates to major value for customers and more seamless digitization of their businesses.

3. Future vision – Amazon took the initial public cloud market by storm. However, it is clear that competitors like Microsoft are building so much more than just a data center. Nadella has taken Microsoft in a completely new direction of integrating every product it offers into a cloud-based solution from productivity tools like Office 365 to mission-critical servers to a complete IoT framework.

4. Technologies driving digital transformation – Without the public cloud, the recent IoT craze would still be a pipe dream for most organizations. While we can all agree that IoT has tons of potential and is a wonderful technology, however very few if any companies have been able to piece together a complete IoT solution for what customers really want IoT to do for them. Microsoft has capitalized on the IoT opportunity with its IoT Central which Nadella describes as “the first SaaS offering that provides the end-to-end solution for organizations of all sizes to manage their entire IoT ecosystem across devices, cloud, analytics, networks, and software.” As businesses, industries and cities implement IoT solutions the cloud provider offering the most valuable IoT platform will undoubtedly benefit from this massive transformation.

5. AI – Artificial Intelligence (AI) is quickly becoming a hot topic at the highest political levels. Even though we are still in the early stages of the practical application of this technology many organizations and countries are calling for regulation on AI.
From self-driving cars to winning Jeopardy, AI is revolutionizing our world. Cloud providers like IBM, Salesforce.com, SAP and Microsoft are all making massive investments in their AI technologies showing yet another initially unforeseen use the public cloud has to offer. The raw computing horsepower and fast networks make the public cloud an excellent platform for AI to grow, develop and ultimately deliver business value.

6. Blockchain – Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are shaking up the financial world, but the technology they run on is also being adopted by top cloud providers. Bitcoin operates on a blockchain which can be thought of as a public “ledger” of every transaction on the network. The key idea here is that there is no one centralized authority that says what actually is true or false, but rather multiple distributed parties come to consensus which is then added to the blockchain for all to see. Cloud providers are adopting this technology to streamline business process, save money and reduce potential for fraud. Microsoft is the most recent adopter of this technology with the release of their Coco Framework which offers enterprise blockchain networks. Their goal here is transform how companies interact with suppliers, customer and partners.

Looking across all 6 of these areas you’ll find many cloud providers in each, but Microsoft is making investments and delivering value to customers in all areas. Today, the public cloud is more than just a scalable, available infrastructure platform. The cloud provider with the strongest, most complete offering is going to come out on top. Looking at these 6 indicators it’s easy to see that a new king of public cloud is about to be crowned.

Credit/Source: Bob Evans