Should Tech Companies Be Worried About the Future of Cloud and the All-in-One Model? I think so.
Amazon has certainly had a significant impact on the retail sector, driving sales down across the board. Microsoft has also made it's presence known, especially in the government sector, but also now in the retail sector too. Retail giants like Walmart, which compete with Amazon for sales, elect to use Microsoft cloud services for their technology needs. No shocker there.
So what's next -- "Everything As A Service"? (EaaS)
The cloud is just someone else's computer.
What is cloud computing?
Well, according to Dictionary.com:
Noun. Internet-based computing in which large groups of remote servers are networked so as to allow sharing of data-processing tasks, centralized data storage, and online access to computer services or resources.
Microsoft describes Cloud Computing on their Azure site as,
The delivery of computing services: including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence—over the Internet (“the cloud”) to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale. You typically pay only for cloud services you use, helping you lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently, and scale as your business needs change.
The cloud is much different from the traditional model of a client/server network. Instead, the cloud provides distributed-based services including the platform, infrastructure, software, and security. In traditional networks, each device needs it's own copy of the data. In a cloud environment, the data is saved to the cloud, and synched to all devices connected to that cloud. It is accessible from any device with a connection.
So, through a cloud infrastructure, a company could have all its needs met with one provider. Is that a reason to worry? Will EaaS affect traditional service providers? Will EaaS become the standard "bundle package"? Like the bundling of services for consumers in their homes (i.e. cable/internet/phone.)
Here are some examples of services that companies provide. Some specialize in just one, others offer a few, but cloud, can offer them all...
Infrastructure as a Service - IaaS
Software as a Service - SaaS
Security as a Service - SECaaS
Platform as a Service - PaaS
IBM describes Infrastructure as a Service as,
A form of cloud computing that delivers fundamental compute, network, and storage resources to consumers on-demand, over the internet, and on a pay-as-you-go basis. IaaS enables end users to scale and shrink resources on an as-needed basis, reducing the need for high, up-front capital expenditures or unnecessary “owned” infrastructure, especially in the case of “spiky” workloads.
Software as a Service allows clients to basically "lease" software, like applications and databases, which results in rapid deployment to the user(s).
Security as a Service is relatively new-ish and explained by ForcePoint as follows:
Security as a Service (SECaaS) can most easily be described as a cloud delivered model for outsourcing cybersecurity services. Much like Software as a Service, SECaaS provides security services on a subscription basis hosted by cloud providers. Security as a Service solutions have become increasingly popular for corporate infrastructures as a way to ease the in-house security team’s responsibilities, scale security needs as the business grows, and avoid the costs and maintenance of on-premise alternatives.
Finally, Platform as a Service is a framework of an operating system/software. Oracle highlights the following about PaaS,
PaaS delivers the infrastructure and middleware components that enable developers, IT administrators, and end users to build, integrate, migrate, deploy, secure, and manage mobile and web applications...it also includes solutions for analysts, end users, and professional IT administrators, including big data analytics, content management, database management, systems management, and security.
Services can be deployed on-premises, hosted, or in cloud. Depending on the need of the client, it can include:
The question I pose here in this article is...
Can smaller companies compete with companies like Amazon (AWS) and Microsoft (Azure) which have endless resources, an immense workforce, plenty of experience, and the data centers to provide the Eaas Cloud services?
My (humble) opinion -- it is going to become increasingly harder for smaller companies to compete as businesses (especially small ones) migrate to the cloud (all-in-one model).
I don't know what the solution is. Just like I don't know how retail could have saved itself. I just know that this is a conversation that SaaS/PaaS/IaaS/SECaaS companies should (need to) be having internally.
Will these smaller tech provider organizations share the fate of the retail sector?
What's your opinion? Share your comment below!