In a guest post on readwrite, last week, Cloudyn CEO Sharon Wagner, offered his thoughts on the cloud in 2014, and one point that got my attention was the battle among the top cloud infrastructure vendors. He predicted it won’t be long before Google Compute Engine catches Amazon Web Services.
Regardless of whether you agree or not, it got me thinking about the competition in this area. Microsoft Azure is third in this race meaning three of the largest tech companies in the world are vying for your attention and your money in infrastructure services –and that can only be a good thing.
It’s worth noting that Wagner points out that Amazon’s fastest growing service in 2013 was its database service, DynamoDB, which bodes well for database as a service, something we will be writing about more this year.
But getting back to the battle of the tech titans, as I like to call it. Whenever big tech companies battle it out whether it’s Microsoft and Apple or Amazon and Google or any combination, the ultimate winner is the consumer, us.
That’s because fierce competition works in our favor. First of all, it encourages accelerated innovation. Think about the Beatles and The Stones in the 1960s. They went toe to toe writing one hit record after another, constantly trying to outdo one another. And you have a similar dynamic when you have big companies battle it out. They compete on features and try to come up with services to impress and lure new customers to come on board and keep their existing ones.
The more they do this instead of resting on their laurels and collecting their money, the better off consumers are going to be.
The other element that comes into play is the price goes down. Inevitably, the competing companies are going to try and outdo one another on price and as that happens, the price of services drop, and when there is a race to the bottom on pricing, once again, consumers win.
This combination of price and innovation has driven the cloud from the beginning. As Greg Satwell, writing on Forbes.com pointed out, the cloud may be the most disruptive technology ever. “But what makes the cloud so disruptive is that it compels legacy players to change their business models, including pricing strategy, sales channels and even basic technology,” Satwell wrote.
And Amazon, Google and Microsoft are proof of this. Amazon started IaaS and later Microsoft came on board (a traditional enterprise software company) and Google (a company that began as simply a search engine). Amazon created a whole market segment and these other players altered their businesses to get in the game.
The question now shouldn’t be whether you’re in the cloud, it’s which services you want to use and what’s the best value you can extract for your company by playing these competing forces against one another, even as they compete amongst themselves.
The lesson is clear. When large companies compete for your business, it doesn’t matter who wins, and ideally they keep each other in check, and that competition continues to make winners of us all.
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