Since the company’s humble beginnings, Google has expanded tremendously by finding or even creating fledgling or brand new markets, then honing their craft in them to unbeatable levels. First was search, then the mobile OS and the next step is apparently cloud services. Urs H¶lzle, the eighth ever Googler, has become the head honcho of the overarching cloud services department. He claims that Google could see more profit from cloud-based goods and services than their immense ad empire. At the annual Structure conference in San Francisco, H¶lzle went as far as to say that Google could be considered a “cloud company” as early as 2020, if all goes well.
Google’s cloud services, such as Drive, have legions of dedicated users and even fans, to be sure, but to say that they have competition would be a huge understatement. The mainline offering, the Google Cloud Platform, has been widely criticized as being surpassed by the likes of Microsoft’s Azure and Amazon Web Services. H¶lzle didn’t make light of this fact or act ignorant of it, making it clear that Google is aware they’re bringing up the rear. In his view, however, that simply means that the only way to go is up. He cited a record-breaking, industry leading growth rate and “lots of enterprise customers, happy enterprise customers.”
H¶lzle compares the cloud wars of today to the genesis of the consumer smartphone. He cited the fact that, despite the iPhone practically inventing the genre, Google has managed to not only get a foot on the platform, they’ve managed to push heavyweights like RIM and Nokia into nigh-obscurity while cementing their own Android platform the top spot in worldwide market share. H¶lzle says that Google is always getting better at the fine art of squeezing more power and more utility out of their current infrastructure and resources, putting them in a position to offer the best services as they build out, while simultaneously offering the lowest prices for those services due to having such a strong, low-cost foundation. He also hinted that there are announcements on the horizon that he’s more than convinced will sway the hardened enterprise market at large. It looks like Google is facing an uphill struggle, but if everything goes as planned, they may just come out on top in the cloud computing world.