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article imageQ&A: How the cloud is becoming important to business Special

By Tim Sandle     May 17, 2019 in Technology
Businesses a turning more towards cloud computing, as Google's recent launch of Anthos, its new connected multi-cloud platform shows. This puts the company in direct competition with Amazon’s AWS and Microsoft’s Azure.
Google launch of Anthos signals that Google is quickly accelerating in the cloud space and spurring new competition among the top players. The launch also signals the increasing importance of the cloud concept to business. Anthos is the new name for the Cloud Services Platform, which Google introduced in beta for hybrid cloud management last year.
To understand what the Google launch means for business and with the growth of cloud services in general, Digital Journal spoke with Francesco Paola, Chief Strategy Officer, Unitas Global.
Digital Journal: What are the key digital transformation trends with customer facing businesses and how important is the cloud to this process?
Francesco Paola: First is mobility - Nowadays, everything is accessed through a mobile device, driving the need for businesses to cater to such consumers. Architecturally, the cloud enables scale, reach and innovative edge computing platforms that enhance customer experience. For example, gaming platforms that require low latency to enable a viable customer experience can be deployed in cloud infrastructure.
Second is AI - Businesses can target individual trends and tastes by focusing on individual customer segments. From digital advertising to recommendation engines, the vast amount of data that is available to consumer facing business is growing exponentially. Companies that can harness this knowledge will win. For example, platforms that can combine multiple customer touch points like mobile, web, and online content delivery platforms will be able to better use data to customize the customer experience.
DJ: Are more workloads being transferred to the cloud?
Paola: Yes, more and more workloads are being transferred to the cloud, some well and some not so well. The right drivers will make cloud migration successful. When done right, cybersecurity risks are actually minimized.
The right drivers include agility, modernization of applications or services, increased reliability and efficiency, scale, and security. Many choose migration for the wrong reasons, including exiting a data center, CEO requests, saving money, or trying to implement a pay-as-you-go model. When these drivers are in place, IT professionals are essentially treating a cloud service provider as a “data center in the sky.” This is the wrong way to go.
But what’s the right way to migrate to the cloud? Investing in the right governance model is a good start. Enterprises also need to ensure that the application assessment takes into account all the right aspects of migration, not just doing a lift and shift, but ensuring that applications are analyzed and optimized for the cloud. Cloud native services are often taken advantage of, but by leveraging the investment, the cloud providers will continuously be improving the security of their platforms.
DJ: Does Google pose a threat to AWS and Azure? How do you think this will affect the cloud wars moving forward?
Paola: Yes and no.
Yes in the sense that Google has invested in their global network, and in areas like AI and ML services particularly. So, their technical services for solving some specific niche use cases are ahead of AWS and Azure.
No in the sense that Google is behind in terms of enterprise adoption. AWS is the market dominator, but Azure is rapidly catching up given the proliferation of Microsoft products in enterprises over the last two decades. Furthermore, Google has not been able to keep up with catering to enterprises. AWS and Azure are better equipped in understanding enterprise needs. Google still struggles with having the right dialogue with enterprise buyers and not imposing unrealistic timelines on adoption.
Finally, the cloud “wars” will only improve the enterprise cloud experience. As the competition increases, so do the viable choices for the buyer and end user.
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