Is Microsoft Winning The Public Cloud Wars?

Is Microsoft Winning The Public Cloud Wars?

Is Microsoft Winning The Public Cloud Wars?

I came across an interesting survey the other day that details public cloud usage from the folks at the Everest Group. Their report provides a really great snapshot on the state of cloud adoption – both public and private. After reading the report and reflecting on the data, it had me asking:

cloud-war

Is Microsoft winning the public cloud war?

Now before you jump right to the comments section to tell me just how delusional or what a Microsoft homer I am, hear me out.

Private Cloud: The Real Winner

First, it should be pointed out that the Everest Group confirms what many others have observed. That users still prefer private clouds to public clouds – by roughly 2 to 1. So if we were judging who is leading the race to the cloud, it would have to be all those organizations that are transforming their static data centers into elastic and dynamic clouds.

Admittedly, as a story, that does not have the same appeal as watching someone get voted off the island.

Microsoft Poised to Win in Public Clouds?

The Everest study also looked at what public cloud service companies are using, which ones they are considering, which ones they are not considering and which ones they are aware of or following.

We all know you can measure momentum through a variety of different mechanisms – including market and mindshare. Market share provides a snapshot of who is winning today, and mindshare provides a measure of who is poised to grab the lead in the future. When I parse the data from the Everest Group report and compare use with awareness, I see two very different pictures.

graph-1

The first chart demonstrates what everyone already knows, that the public cloud is dominated by Amazon Web Services (AWS).

graph-2

The second graph shows awareness or the mindshare of each of the major public cloud services. This is the one that surprised me. It shows Microsoft leading the mindshare battle with 92% of those surveyed aware of Azure – versus 74% of the respondents claiming awareness of AWS, and less than half aware of Savvis cloud services.

So, what can we conclude from this? Is Microsoft losing the battle but winning the war? Is this ‘awareness gap’ a function of the millions of marketing and advertising dollars Microsoft is spending on Azure (versus the word of mouth viral marketing approach being employed by AWS)? Will the Azure mindshare translate into actual spending and market share gains from Azure in the coming years?

It’s this last question that, as a marketer, interests me the most.

A Quiet Revolution

Over the last decade there has been a revolution quietly occurring. Gone are days when new segment-defining products and services could only be launched with massive marketing and advertising budgets. For start-ups creating new markets, success is predicated on digital marketing initiatives, viral adoption and making it easy for people to consume and use your product. Those that follow these market segment-defining companies have to play a very different, and much more expensive, game.

That above everything else I suspect is what’s behind the ‘awareness gap’ seen in the Everest report. While AWS has been getting their product into the hands of people who, in turn, have used it to build new, innovative and interesting businesses (Zynga, Foursquare, Dropbox to name a few), Microsoft, has been playing the long game by focusing on its branding and advertising as a means to saturate the market and create an impression of inevitability.

And while Microsoft has not released numbers, they’ve left some clues that suggest the strategy is building some momentum.

And Now Back to Private Cloud

To bring the discussion full circle, the Everest Group survey found that 70% of responders want to run financial applications and ERP in a private cloud setting, 60% want their email and collaboration and 55% preferred their custom applications to run in private clouds.

So how do the public cloud wars factor into the mega trend of private cloud? From a marketing perspective, the question is what can public cloud providers do to tap into the massive movement toward private clouds? The answer is tied up in self-service.

The concept of self-service has been building over the last few years. We see it in our gas stations, in our grocery stores and now even in our IT. Increasingly organizations are enabling their employees to design, deploy and manage their own IT solutions. They are exposing them to the costs of those solutions and they are using self-service portals as the mechanism to facilitate those interactions.

Public cloud providers should see the explosion in self-service as an opportunity to tap into a captive and qualified market. Public cloud providers can leverage the wave in self-service and blur the line between public and private cloud services by exposing their infrastructure or software through private cloud management portals.

The benefits from a customer’s perspective are also particularly clear. Users get a one-stop shop where they can design, deploy, manage and pay for cloud services. Users can choose, based not on technology, but on characteristics like price, service levels, security and compliance capabilities, where they run their workloads.

In this way they develop a cloud strategy. For example, an organization may want to run their test and development workloads on low cost cloud providers, they may decide to run their non-secure production apps on a public provider who meets their service uptime requirements and they may decide to save their compliance and security-sensitive workloads for their private cloud. That is exactly the approach we are seeing more and more organizations beginning to take.

So whether it’s Amazon leading the market share race or Microsoft winning the mindshare battle, the ultimate winner in the public cloud wars will be the one who taps into this move to self-service clouds.

By John Humphreys, VP of Marketing at Egenera

humphreysPrior to joining Egenera, Humphreys was senior director, Data Center and Cloud Marketing at Citrix Systems. There he drove efforts around virtualization and cloud and had responsibility for developing marketing strategy, defining packaging and pricing, leading program execution, driving customer engagements and pre-sales activity, and acting as a primary spokesperson. Prior to Citrix, Humphreys founded and was vice president of the virtualization practice at IDC, a global information technology research firm.

Contact CloudTweaks regarding Guest Blogging opportunities!

Follow Us!

CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks.com is recognized as one of the leading authorities in cloud computing information. Most of the excellent CloudTweaks articles are provided by our own paid writers, with a small percentage provided by guest authors from around the globe, including CEOs, CIOs, Technology bloggers and Cloud enthusiasts. Our goal is to continue to build a growing community offering the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more...
Follow Us!

One Response to Is Microsoft Winning The Public Cloud Wars?

Comics

At CloudTweaks, we're plugged into the cloud, the internet of things and all that the web has to offer. From wearable technology, to mobile computing, cloud computing and big data, CloudTweaks is your source for updates and news on the most innovative technology.

Popular

Top Viral Impact

Cloud Infographic: Cloud Public, Private & Hybrid Differences

Cloud Infographic: Cloud Public, Private & Hybrid Differences

Many people have heard of cloud computing. There is however a tremendous number of people who still cannot differentiate between Public, Private & Hybrid cloud offerings.  Here is an excellent infographic provided by the group at iWeb which goes into greater detail on this subject. Infographic source: iWeb About Latest Posts Follow Us!CloudTweaksEstablished in 2009,…

5 Ways The Internet of Things Will Drive Cloud Growth

5 Ways The Internet of Things Will Drive Cloud Growth

5 Ways The Internet of Things Will Drive Cloud Growth The Internet of Things is the latest term to describe the interconnectivity of all our devices and home appliances. The goal of the internet of things is to create universal applications that are connected to all of the lights, TVs, door locks, air conditioning, and…

Cloud Infographic: Cloud Computing Growth

Cloud Infographic: Cloud Computing Growth

An excellent infographic provided by AwesomeCloud which predicts a continued high level of growth in the cloud computing industry. Potentially staggering numbers for Public Cloud IT Services of $100 Billion by 2016. Infographic Source: AwesomeCloud About Latest Posts Follow Us!CloudTweaksEstablished in 2009, CloudTweaks.com is recognized as one of the leading authorities in cloud computing information. Most of the…

Cloud Infographic: Disaster Recovery

Cloud Infographic: Disaster Recovery

Cloud Infographic: Disaster Recovery  Business downtime can be detrimental without a proper disaster recovery plan in place. Only 6% of businesses that experience downtime without a plan will survive long term. Less than half of all businesses that experience a disaster are likely to reopen their doors. There are many causes of data loss and…

Featured Sponsors

The Internet of Everything Opens Up The World

The Internet of Everything Opens Up The World

Shaping The World With New Technologies As a connected collection of intelligent objects, the Internet of Everything promises to open up those areas of the world hardest hit by economic, political and agricultural blights. Relatively inexpensive devices, paired with revolutionary energy sources and unprecedented access to information offer great promise to farmers and workers in…

Sponsors

Is SaaS For You? Three Questions To Ask

Is SaaS For You? Three Questions To Ask

The idea of providing software to customers for a fee without the need for investments in IT infrastructure or staff has been around for decades. In the 1970s it was called Timesharing. Back then, companies utilized Timesharing services as their primary source of IT applications or as an extension of in-house IT applications, thereby avoiding…

Placement Opportunities - Find Out!

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading influencers in cloud computing, big data and internet of things (IoT) information. Our goal is to continue to build our growing information portal, by providing the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more.

You can help continue to support our community by social sharing, sponsoring, partnering or contributing to this great educational resource.

Contact

CloudTweaks Media
Phone: 1 (212) 763-0021

Join Our Newsletter