Amazon Web Services (AWS), having been around for a decade, is the market leader by miles in the cloud-based computing industry, providing the foundation and framework to power application developments, storage and data processing. However, growth figures, as reported by Synergy Research Group for 2016 (53%), puts them behind Microsoft’s Azure (100%) and Google’s Cloud Platform (162%); even for a business with 45% market share (more than twice the size of the next three competitors combined), those growth figures will make them shake like a leaf.
Market share figures may suggest absolute dominance in the short term, but AWS is aware of the growth waves of the other competitors; a clear indication that the market will most likely look enormously diverse in the long run, probably even before their second decade. The power of Google is also intimidating even from a distance; Android developers are increasingly finding Google’s Cloud Platform preferable. Also, both Google and Microsoft are heavily resourcing their research and development departments and the fruits have been a rhythmic launch of new products. AWS though, seems to want to focus on a new target market; Enterprise customers.
Enterprise customers was widely referred to as wealth beneath the soil. These are large organizations using systems such as SQL Server, MariaDB, MySQL, Oracle … and are either slow or reluctant to migrate onto any cloud platform. Amazon is trying to make migration from any of these systems seamless with their AWS Database Migration Service. The aim is to be the market leader for enterprise customer; to sweep every organization that falls under this category as Google and Microsoft focus on startups and individual developers. However, Microsoft is also tapping into its long-standing relationships with some of these organizations to have them migrate onto Azure. Google though, was a major winner last year when Apple signed up for their Cloud Service for some of its iCloud services. Clearly, Microsoft and Google will also focus on this market sooner than later, but AWS would have lead the market by the nose.
Another area AWS seems to want to revamp is security. TechCrunch reported earlier this year that AWS has acquired a cyber security firm called harvest.ai; a startup which is known for using artificial intelligence to assess and analyze the behavior of users around a company’s IP to automatically nullify any attacks. This will eliminate the need for third party security for some AWS subscribers. This will also enhance the work of Amazon Inspector; a security service that enables users to analyze the behavior of applications used in AWS to unearth potential security threats.
Some may find AWS decision to focus on a new market a major risk; others may find making startups an opportunity cost costly, but that is business. Enterprises are continually looking for new ways to get work done faster, smarter and cheaper. Startups are most likely going to deal with Google anyway. AWS has been shrewd to say the least, and they will continue to rule the roost this year.