With the advent of disruptive technologies such as the internet of things, artificial intelligence and machine learning, the complexity and proliferation of data are on a sharp rise. As a result, terms like big data and cloud computing are now mainstream jargons in the information technology (IT) domain. Cloud has become omnipresent for IaaS, PaaS and SaaS as applications are moved out of on-premise data centers in a bid to cut costs and increase agility.
According to a recent (Sep 2017) research paper published by Gartner on public cloud IaaS market share, AWS still dominates the space with 44% of the sector. However, in terms of growth rate, Alibaba is growing the fastest (126.5 %) followed by Google cloud (100 %).
Further talking about Cloud services to just retailers, Google is leading its way with a growth rate of 75%. With leading retailers like Target and Walmart moving away from AWS and google bagging on Best Buy, Kohl’s and Kroger, it is estimated that by 2022 Google will surpass the market leader AWS.
Why the Shift from AWS?
The trigger for Target, Walmart and other brick-and-mortar retailers and supermarkets to move away from AWS is the success of Amazon as an e-commerce giant. While facing difficulties in competing with Amazon’s online retail onslaught, these retailers are trying to at least not fund their major rival. Also, these retailers would not prefer their most sensitive data to be sitting on a competitor’s platform.
With AWS falling out of favor and brick-and-mortar retailers planning to spend 34 percent of their software budgets on the cloud, GCP and Azure are pushing their way in at an opportune time.
Why is GCP the retailer’s choice?
It is clear that Google is declaring a war on Amazon Web Service’s cloud offering, specifically in the retail space. It’s been a methodical progression to become more deeply embedded in retail.
1) Strategic Partnerships –
Through its recent partnership that combines Salesforce CRM with G-Suite, Google Analytics and Google Cloud Platform, Google seems to be aggressively courting retailers with a combined infrastructure, Salesforce relations, and Google 360 deal that is hard to pass up price-wise and combines Google’s most popular ad tech stack parts in marketing. Both new cloud customers and existing, irritated and worried AWS customers are in their sights right now.
The battle for retail infrastructure AND application software is just beginning and both Google (with Salesforce) and Microsoft Azure (with Adobe) are going after AWS. However, Google still tops up the chart with its BigQuery for analytics needs and a full stack replete with a suite of analytics products such as Kubernetes for deployment and TensorFlow for machine intelligence.
2) Natural Progression –
Here Google is at an advantage. With all major e-commerce platforms like Magento, Shopify and Odoo providing Google Analytics as the default Sales data analytics tool, the retailers have an experience and a better understanding of hosting options on Google as compared to any other cloud. As a natural progression, the preference lies with GCP there to beat Azure amongst others.
3) Pricing & Performance –
- Amongst many others, an online marketplace in Singapore, Carousell has opted to go with the less-travelled Google Cloud Platform route, primarily due to affordability, flexibility and performance.
The team ran a variety of network load simulation and IOPS (input/output per second) tests, and benchmarking showed that Google Cloud Platform outperformed AWS at similar price tiers.
With an improved uptime, customize VMs and lack of lock-in period, the flexibility offered by Google Cloud Platform also appealed to the team.
The battlecard below offers details on GCP’s Retail and Commerce Platform by providing a competitive feature differentiation against Azure and AWS –
4) Large Number of Small Deals –
Since its existence, Google has targeted Start-ups and SMBs for its cloud division. The company even went as far as to set up a startup fund, offering $100,000 of Cloud Platform credits to eligible startups back in 2014. With e-commerce market booming, Google continues to capture almost every new player in the retail space.
The cloud war is an ongoing battle, and market performance is the only factor that can largely decide on the best player. The public cloud segment is booming, and it is important to cater to the specific needs of these businesses. Though AWS is currently leading according to various sources, but given Google’s ambitious plans and efforts it wouldn’t be unlikely to see Google Cloud beating AWS. It ultimately depends on the ease of Google Cloud’s compatibility for the new customers, its pricing structure, adequate user support and surrounding management tools, among others.