Why The Big 4: AWS, Rackspace, Google and Azure – Are Beating You In the Cloud Era
I love Apple’s “Get a Mac” Marketing Strategy from 2006. What does it have in common when it comes to the cloud era? Simple. Let’s break it down.
Telling a great story requires that it be deeply emotional so that you create a connection that lasts. Enterprise IT is tough, complex and often a lonely existence at the top for CIO’s, CISO’s and CTO’s. You’ve spent years building best of breed solutions that are leveraged to keep the company running and in the last five years the great infrastructure, network and applications riding on top have been under heavy assault by the Big 4. They have a better story than you do. A Typical Enterprise IT discussion:
CEO: (To CMO) An opportunity just opened up for us to increase brand awareness by sponsoring halftime at the Super Bowl and I’m going to jump on. Can you have a digital media strategy in play in the next 3 months?
CMO: Yes! We’ve actually been working on new content we can test in the run up to the Super Bowl. Should not be a problem.
CMO: (To CIO) Hey…We going to execute a digital media strategy to support halftime show during the Super Bowl and we have a tight timeline in order to pull this off. Do you have enough infrastructure in place to help me drive the strategy?
CIO: Um..Yes I think we do, but it will take a few days to make sure.
CMO: That could be a problem, maybe we should look at AWS as an option to execute this?
CIO: No, I think we should run this in house, you know we will want the data and protecting our brand is everything, I’m concerned about security, etc.
CMO: I see.
Speed of execution is everything in the Cloud Era. The Big 4 have it and Enterprise IT, does not. I absolutely acknowledge this is a gross generalization, but let’s face it. The story is better and instead of fighting it, we jump on and it’s not that bad actually. We embrace the Big 4, knowing full well we have to adapt to survive.
Which brings me to the Apple marketing strategy from 2006. The picture below will refresh your memory:
Enterprise IT – On the left, polished, experienced, been doing this IT thing for years, handling complex stuff The Big 4 – On the right, confident, built something better, smarter and handles the complexity of Enterprise IT too, but it’s “Cheaper”
Thus, the state of affairs today. Enterprise IT is in a tough spot being on the left. The Big 4 are in a good position being on the right. How can you move just a little more to the right, perhaps all the way to the right, gain the cost benefits, speed of execution, agility and operate at scale?
Come in a bit closer. Here is one of the big secrets: Automation and Orchestration Layers.
Yes, I know you understand this fact. Truly, you do. In fact you are working diligently to implement those layers in your Enterprise IT environments. Then ask yourself why is it so hard? Making the production selection is probably the easiest step in the process. According to the latest research from Cloudmarket.com 84% of the cloud build-outs have been done with opensource and predominately Openstack. Back in the enterprise, Vmware is sitting at 85% marketshare, making it a natural choice for your deployment. Openstack is too hard for Enterprise IT to implement, too many distributions to choose from, which one is right for me? Vmware, well, that feels safe. I know Vmware, I’ve been running it for a decade, it is proven. It may be proven, yet there is a reason that Vmware is now supporting Openstack. They have seen the same research and don’t want to lose out of the next market opportunity , helping Enterprise IT implement the Automation and Orchestration Layers.
The Big 4 have spent time and money developing the automation/orchestration layers to work at massive scale. Enterprise IT only now starting to flex this muscle. For now leveraging the Big 4 to deliver on your point projects, deliver test/dev environments, archive data, or back-up a second copy of data have been proven to make the most sense to the enterprise for cost and agility. If you could deliver the same value without leveraging the Big 4, most of you would do it tomorrow. Having that ability is the holy grail in the cloud era. Over the next five years, it will become easier. Software will become more intelligent, quality resources you hire or contract with will become more prevalent and early stage technologies will become mainstream. Then you will be able to effectively compete with the Big 4 and win. The pendulum will swing back to the center, because Enterprise IT will have the ability to make a business decision with clarity, knowing that technology is not an issue, it is just an invisible resource that can be tapped.
Stop the bleeding and accelerate your automation/orchestration layer roll-out projects now. You have to be all-in, being 50% in or taking it piece by piece is just not going to cut it. You need help. Creating the adaptable data center is our passion. Sharing this passion with clients is what I do. Let’s have a conversation.
image © Apple
Director of Solutions Architecture