Many of you have probably a vague idea of the enterprise cloud market. Unless you are directly involved, it is difficult to understand or even care about. One aspect that is always confusing about companies is the financial data.
Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, sheds some light on what it takes to compete in the cloud market on a global scale, “If you’re not already spending a lot of capital in the order of four or five billion dollars each year to just grow your cloud, probably it’s a little too late to enter the market.” And this is just to grow your business, not to set it up. Microsoft has been committed for a few years now, and so have Google and Amazon. However, it is hard to see a fourth company make the push into the cloud in the immediate future.
This has a range of implications and concerns, including competition and security. On the competitive side, it is very unlikely that we will see artificial price inflation due to only three players in the market — these companies are very competitive against each other. On the security concern, most companies run their web services on these three cloud solutions (i.e. Dropbox runs on Amazon Web Services), and they are all U.S. based. Hence, they are under the United States jurisdiction, a potential concern for international companies following different laws.
Microsoft also touched on questions concerning a potential spin-off of their consumer business, as Nadella explained, “One of the things that’s really been key to our success – the way, even, our footprint in the enterprise grew – is because of what I term as dual-use. People using Windows and Office for their personal use, and taking it to work.” Personally, this is the first time I am hearing this suggestion, but if you were curious, the answer is NO. Microsoft’s strong presence in enterprise computers and servers is evident, but their consumer focus may need some work. While the Surface and Windows Phone still have a ways to go, we don’t see how a spinoff would help the Windows ecosystem grow. Additionally, the Xbox is proof enough that Microsoft can do both under one roof.
You can watch Nadella’s full interview below, touching diversity, cloud, and dual users.