By Dave Orban
I recently had the good fortune to attend Google Next 2019, Google’s Annual Cloud Conference, held (mostly) at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
Additionally, it is looking to aggressively stake a claim to its share of the still-growing cloud services market (Forbes pegs it at $411 billion for 2020). And while Google did highlight several enterprises (Baker Hughes/GE, Hulu, Siemens, Disney, Kohls) already using the Google Cloud, it would appear that it’s also looking to strategically pursue the mid-market, where there is plenty of opportunity for growth. A raft of newly-announced, cloud-related services – and an enhanced Window’s Ecosystem – designed to target competitors in the public cloud space.
The undercurrent to most of its messaging – in the keynotes and breakout sessions alike – was one of simplicity, security and data privacy. The expansive list of product and service offerings surrounding this expansion of Google’s Cloud offerings have been developed to enable businesses to move to the cloud with a minimum of effort. What’s more, Google is providing a la carte access to an incredibly robust toolset that will enable businesses to extract far greater value from their data in the cloud. To this end, it also announced an expansion of its go-to-market teams, its work with partners and a strengthening of its focus on priority workloads, industries and geographies. It is going to sell the Google Cloud story to enterprises with a beefed up sales force and strong ecosystem of enterprise partners. But it should also be noted that the enhancements to its managed services offering suggest that it is looking to target organizations that might not have sufficient internal IT support to attempt a cloud shift on their own – you know, like most of the mid market. So I would not be at all surprised to see additional initiatives that target mid-sized businesses as well.
The event was kicked-off by Google CEO Sundar Pichai, followed by newly-minted Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian’s in-depth keynote. Kurian, in conjunction with members of his product team, announced a variety of initiatives aimed at enabling the hybrid cloud for all types of businesses, large and small. His vision of cloud computing was pretty specific: “…to provide global scale, distributed infrastructure, a digital transformation platform and industry-specific solutions that facilitate digital transformation.” To do that, Google is expanding its go-to-market teams, its work with partners and increasing its focus on both its products and the industry as a whole.
A cloud where data privacy is paramount
Data privacy was a frequent topic. Kurian stressed that Google Cloud takes its customer trust seriously.
“Your data is your data and no one else’s,” he said. “Your AR (augmented reality) models are yourAR models and no one else’s. No one at Google will access your data without your permission. We do not have a back door to allow any agency to access your data without your permission. You can encrypt the data at rest or in transit into our cloud. You can use your own encryption keys to encrypt that data.”
Given many customers have reservations about migrating all their workloads to the cloud, that commitment should prove to be reassuring. Google is doing its best to assure a reliable, scalable and highly secure journey to the cloud. Make no mistake, it wants the world – and its competitors – to know it.
Google is clearly playing the long game here. It has pockets that are sufficiently deep to be able to mount a credible, long-term challenge to the established players. It’s clear from these many product announcements that it means business. And by “business,” I mean both the enterprise and the mid-market segments. Its emphasis on simplicity, security and, perhaps most important, data privacy will appeal to many organizations, both large and small. And the range of robust, yet easy-to-use cloud products announced at this event will be extremely appealing, especially in this era of shrinking IT departments needing to accomplish more with fewer resources.
Needless to say, we will be keeping a close eye on these and future developments from the folks at Google Cloud.
And as we say here at Commvault, always remember to cloud responsibly!