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5 reasons why Google can catch Amazon in the cloud

Sharon Gaudin | April 30, 2014
Amazon dominates the cloud but analysts say don't count out Google.

1. The market is young and prone to change
AWS has been around for eight years and other companies have dived into the cloud business, but enterprises and smaller companies are still getting comfortable with storing their data on remote servers on the Internet. The cloud computing is still relatively small but it's quickly ramping up.

Forrester last week released a report showing that the public cloud market is set for what it calls "hypergrowth." Forrester said the market is expected to reach $191 billion by 2020, a 20% increase over Forrester's last forecast, in April 2011.

"Today, the cloud is small but exploding," said Jeff Kagan, an independent industry analyst. "We're still in the first inning in the game ... Remember how big Blackberry was? Then Apple came out with the iPhone and changed everything. It happens."

Kagan said the cloud computing industry will grow and change — a lot — over the next five to 10 years, and the companies in that space will have to grow and change too.

"Typically, the first companies that lead are not leading five or 10 years from now," he said.

2. Google has the name and deep pockets
Amazon has strong brand recognition, but when people think of the company, many still think about going to Amazon.com to buy a book or a pair of running sneakers. Google, meanwhile, is a name that enterprises well recognize.

"When people think about Amazon, they think about the Kindle and the retail angle," Rebello said' "A lot of enterprises are using Google Docs and they're using Gmail. People also are familiar with the Android OS. When you look at it from an enterprise IT perspective, you see that Google is offering services, so you figure you can't go wrong with bringing Google into the equation."

Along with that name recognition come some deep pockets.

Amazon surely isn't searching the couch cushions for change, but Rob Enderle, an analyst with the Enderle Group, said the company doesn't have the deep pockets that Google does.

"Amazon spends pretty much what they pull in," he added. "Google is loaded. If Google decides this is really strategic, they could really surprise Amazon. Google could outspend Amazon any day of the week."

Several analysts noted that most companies moving into the cloud are using multiple services. It's a new area and these companies want to compare services and find out which one works better and which one is more reliable.

That means a lot of new users may give Google, a name they know, a try. If Google throws a lot of its financial muscle behind its cloud effort, that will open up the possibility that Google can win over those users.

 

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