Amazon has long been the dominant corporation within the global cloud market, with the company so far ahead of its competitors that it seemed that nobody could ever catch it; however, times are changing and it is said that Google could be about to take the online retailer on and catch up with the market leader.
Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon’s cloud computing platform that was published in 2006, immediately dominated the market. In today’s world it holds as much as an 85% share and, according to a 2013 Gartner report, has up to five times the compute capacity of the next 14 competitors combined; in addition, business does not seem to be slowing, with 2014’s first quarter noting 60% year-on-year growth for Amazon’s ‘other’ category, which includes AWS.
Forrester Research analyst Lauren Nelson said: “Where Amazon steps ahead is in its ecosystem. It has the largest ecosystem out there. You can use their long list of offerings and it’s ready to deploy super quickly and it’s very automated and scalable. There are thousands of companies that all the work they do is on top of AWS. Some do security. Some handle compliance issues. There are a lot there.”
Things are changing, however, with companies such as Google, IBM, Verizon and even Facebook positioning themselves to take the market leader on. Google, unsurprisingly, has the best chance of toppling the giant. It dominates the online search world, eclipsed free email services with Gmail, and took the mobile sector by storm with Android. There are also a number of factors that put Google in the perfect position to close the dominance gap.
For one, the market is still relatively young, which means that it is prone to change. The cloud market is exploding fast and AWS will need to stay on its toes to keep ahead. In addition, not only does Google have its branding but it also has deep pockets. This is allowing the company to push down prices, which Amazon has to follow if it is to remain competitive. Google has also recently revealed that it is making large capital investments. Finally, Google’s entire future strategy relies on the cloud market.
Amazon is likely to stay dominant in the cloud sector for some time to come, but times could be changing. As many companies begin to initiate exploits in this arena, it is Google that seems to have the best chance of toppling Amazon’s success.
This article is written by Oliver Whitting – Head of Information Technology at Montash
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