A view of the future of cloud computing, through the eyes of the luminaries who helped build it.
A stake in the future
Here at Google, we spend a lot of time looking at data and anticipating what will happen next. When it comes to the future of business, we get some of our best ideas by looking at new information technologies and thinking about their effects. Cloud computing has long powered Google and is increasingly an integral part of most organizations’ technology stacks.
But the cloud is much more than a new generation of machines and software. We’re already seeing that transformation happen to the billions of users and millions of companies that rely on our technology.
What makes us think that cloud computing will change things beyond IT itself? History argues for it. Mainframe computers made operations research possible. The PC revolution made anyone a potential entrepreneur. Client-server enabled corporate reengineering, and smartphones created the app economy and computing from almost anywhere.
The cloud, we believe, draws on more diverse data sources, breaks down more silos, utilizes faster network speeds, and enables more powerful analyses, all at a lower cost than anything tech has seen before. It is not a technology that belongs to any one provider, or even a bunch of big tech companies. It is a new generation of computing, a new way of using resources, like mainframes, PCs, and servers were in their time.
It is a way of thinking about and doing computing that creates something new: a future with new kinds of product creation, new partnerships, and new ways of working. This doesn’t mean everything has to change – but organizations get more from their data, their competitive advantage, and their existing relationships.
As with any momentous change, business leaders must navigate the here and now – whether on-prem, hybrid, or multi-cloud – with an eye toward the future. Leading companies must strive for an even more elevated view as they embark on their business transformation journey, bringing with them the experience, history, and strengths of their established systems.
Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. The company was founded back in 1998, before anyone could have predicted how fundamental the changes would be in how humans access and consume information. Along the way, we’ve helped shape the evolution of how cloud computing works with customers. Our advances in areas like analytics and machine learning power data collection and productivity, and our security innovations protect billions of users’ data. It’s been 20 years now, but these changes are far from over. In fact, for many companies, they’re just beginning.
This is why we assembled this report – to help business and IT leaders navigate the changing business world with cloud computing. We gathered insights from users, conversations with businesses of all sizes, surveys, polls, and knowledge from within Google itself to offer you a holistic view of the current landscape and where it’s already going in terms of value, innovation, and competition.
The goal is to give you the insights you need to craft winning strategies by building on your existing environment and moving toward a future that unlocks the benefits of cloud computing. We hope that you can put these examples from real companies, current market trends, and learnings from Google executives to good use, and as always, we look forward to partnering with you on whatever comes next.
– Urs Hölzle, SVP Technical Infrastructure, Google Cloud
PART 1 The enterprise of the future
What makes new computing technologies great? It’s not just networking speeds, compute power, or storage capacity. Those are critical minimums, and cloud computing can deliver them far more effectively than previous methods. There is more, however. The real value of technology is not what it’s made of, but what it does.
Great IT enables a company to do the things it’s best at, by getting lowvalue work out of the way. That means more time to focus on delighting customers, the core of any successful business. Innovation fuses hard-won knowledge about customers, products, and markets with new capabilities, enabled by transformative IT.
This is why so much of the economy runs on and was shaped by evolving technologies. For a reasonable investment, technology has provided benefits like empowerment, improved teamwork, and services on demand. In fact, some technologies – like cloud computing – offer all of this at a lower overall cost than their traditional alternatives.
A decade since businesses first started to run on public clouds, many have discovered that cost savings were just the beginning. Our customers are creating businesses that are continuous and nearly frictionless, maximizing their organizations’ missions and leveraging current resources with faster times to insight and action. They are gaining something new in cloud computing: speed, efficiency, reliability, and security in service of a new wave of business-driven innovation.
If the value of a technology is the net experience it delivers to the enterprise – on cost, on performance, and on time to innovation – it’s clear why so many believe that cloud computing’s interconnected, continuous streaming will be an important part of our future economy. In other words, the future of business will depend on realizing the promise of cloud computing.
In the following pages, we’ll explore:
➊ What the enterprise of the future will look like
➋ What fundamentals shape the cloud enterprise
➌ How cloud computing will impact businesses
➍ How business and IT leaders and decision makers can prepare