With so much going on, I didn’t want to let the release of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for the Cloud go uncovered.
The summary – not much changed, although the report has some details we care about. Amazon, Google, and Microsoft are still all in the “leaders” quadrant.
The report does expand the areas of technology covered beyond compute and storage to include platform services.
The report DID, however, offer insights into what the firm sees as the weaknesses of the big three.
AWS – the undisputed leader, with more market share than its competitors combined, and a longer track record of high-end cloud services, and even includes retail competitors in its customer list. Garter criticized the company for “good enough” services, that don’t always mesh, making it confusing for a buyer and opens the door for competition from smaller, more focused companies.
Microsoft is the biggest rival and has a strong legacy with enterprise customers. An area of weakness – geographic coverage, especially in Europe, focusing more on overall reach and still needing to build out cloud capacity.
Google has caught up in many ways in product and market share, but lags on those key relationships with ISVs and enterprise customers. The company has also been plagued by a year of outages and downtime and continues to have rumors it may exit the business if it doesn’t make progress in the enterprise.
Gartner deems everyone else – Alibaba, Oracle, IBM, and Tencent, as niche players.
Also, of note – no company qualifies for the “visionary” title, which is the name Gartner gives to upstarts with good ideas that haven’t quite put it all together.
And, unrelated but reporting here for reasons that will be clear in a moment, Oracle was named the “trusted technology provider” in the US for TikTok, a deal now on it’s way to the US government for approval.
Why do we care?
For a new market segment, it sure settled in fast. Three players that matter: Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. This report is just validation that… nothing has really changed.
I maintain that when it comes to core infrastructure, storage, and compute, Microsoft is the clear answer for technology services providers focused on the SMB and Midmarket, particularly when you couple with the services related to delivering core business services in Microsoft 365, and particularly if you have any legacy in the customer to deal with. Any established business with an investment in anything Microsoft based makes this obvious.
If you’re a software builder – one of those ISVs – the equation is quite different. My recommendation is to those “integrators” or service providers focused on delivering technology into the SMB and mid-market, not software builders.
In my mind, G-Suite IS an option for something fresh. New startups have a different equation, and so a factor for a provider will be the age of the customer – both the business and the leadership team, as I believe Google will skew to a younger demographic.
As for Oracle – they’re irrelevant in the cloud space as far as the majority of technology services providers care. Their partnership – not buyout – with TikTok is a play for marketing relevance, but also entirely political. It doesn’t actually address the US Government’s stated concerns, and if awarded, should be entirely viewed as cronyism.
That’s my take.