Last week, Google held its Google Cloud Next Conference in San Francisco. Like any company-centric conference, it gave Google three days of non-stop control of the microphone to make its cloud case with media, analysts, and potential customers in attendance —and it did its best to take advantage of its time in the spotlight.
Few can question Google's credentials as a cloud company. After all, it runs its own cloud services such as GMail, Adwords, YouTube, and many others at massive cloud scale. What it hasn't done until recently is package and market those services as commercial products in the same way rivals AWS, Microsoft, and IBM have been doing.
As you would expect, it had its share of new product announcements and it paraded its share of customers onto the stage to share their successes. It trumpeted its contributions to open source and it talked about the overall contributions to the startup ecosystem.
Yet for all the pomp and circumstance, and for all its advantages Google is starting from a surprising disadvantage in the cloud market. If you look at the current cloud market stats, it's a long way to the top and even to number two where Microsoft firmly sits. Google has its work cut out for it, but it believes it can find its way in the market through the enterprise.
Market conditions remain steady
Whether that's true or not remains to be seen, but the current market data doesn't lie, and it doesn't look pretty no matter whose numbers you look at, Synergy Research, the company we usually look to for cloud market share statistics or Deutsche Bank. They see AWS continuing to gain at a rapid rate, with Microsoft and Google growing at a much more modest rate.
Fascinating to see Amazon Web Services enterprise position after a decade of market performance. pic.twitter.com/jHRbuN2qAh— Marc Benioff (@Benioff) March 10, 2017
In its most recent research published in early February, Synergy bunched Microsoft, Google, and IBM in second place, well behind AWS. In a statement, Synergy explained that the three companies in second place have made significant gains, but it came at the expense of the players below them in the market. It didn't have much of an impact on AWS's dominance, according to Synergy.
Looking at the numbers, Synergy's John Dinsdale says even though the competition is also growing quickly, it's going to be extremely difficult to catch AWS. "Achieving and maintaining a leadership position in this market takes huge ongoing investments in infrastructure, a continued expansion in the range of cloud services offered, strong credibility with the large enterprise sector, consistently strong execution, and the wholehearted and long-term backing of senior management. AWS is checking all of those boxes and any serious challengers need to do likewise," Dinsdale said in a statement.
What Google was trying to do last week, was show everyone that it was capable of doing the same. It's clearly making strides, but as we've discussed before, while there is plenty of room for everyone to grow in a rapidly expanding market, AWS has raced to such a huge lead, it makes the goal of gaining on them in a significant way even more challenging.
There is little doubt, Google will capture its share of business and will like continue to boast huge growth numbers, but it will take a serious shift in the market for the company to make any material impact on AWS's dominance for the foreseeable future.