Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, ManageEngine IT Matters, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Agile Computing, Cognitive Computing , Release Management , @CloudExpo

Agile Computing: Opinion

Google's Mid-Life Crisis?

Amazing Adventures Meet Entrenched Competitors

Last weekend Chris O'Brien (San Jose Mercury News) referred an "identity crisis" at Google, which immediately reminded us of a litany of technology companies which have ended up dabbling in too many markets for their own good.  Breadth ultimately undermined synergy.  It isn't hard to see where Chris is coming from when it comes to the multitude of Google grand visions and their implications.

Google is a great company.  One of the greatest.  They are unlikely to fall victim to the myopic adventures that have eroded market caps at other companies, yet one has to wonder just how far Google can stretch its domination of online advertising into online applications, telephony and even cloud computing.  How much distance is there between its grand visions and what it can deliver competitively, free of massive (ad revenue) subsidies?



That is why the discussions about the technology requirements of cloud computing (networks, security, systems, manual labor for starters) are relevant to Google, despite its dependence upon mystery bordering on secrecy.

Cloud isn't Easy... Yet
We've talked for months about the major barriers to cloud computing and the confusion about cloud driven by the endless marketing repositioning exercises that have played themselves out since Carr's "The Big Switch" lit a fire under the information technology industry.  In the "dizzying economics of cloud" we've pointed out cloud will have ROI challenges until networks evolve (infrastructure 2.0) to support new loads, new movement and more dynamic environments.

Today most followers (except the likes of competitors like Microsoft and some within the enterprise IT community) like Google because of their aggressive pricing strategy for new products.  Yet at the end of the day when their new initiatives become material to their revenue performance they may be subject to new constraints.  The economics of cloud will matter when revenues are material.

Massive advertising revenues have woven a beautiful and distracting curtain for the Google cloud computing wizards to stand behind.  At some point those curtains will be parted and the sustainability of the vision will be proven or disproven.  Those considering making a change to cloud may want to know just how viable their service provider's unit is... versus the success of unrelated ventures.

Dignan's recent article on Google's Revolutionary Chrome OS again raises eyebrows for yet another Google feat of vision, with more "shrapnel" for a growing list of potential technology competitors. 

With the Chrome OS announcement Google is entering the software stack game and it'll have implications for Linux, the enterprise, the cloud and Microsoft (albeit much less than you'd think). Coupled with Google's long overdue move to remove the "beta" tag from Google Apps the move into the operating system business all begins to add up.

- Larry Dignan, ZDNet, July 8, 2009

Notably Google doesn't have the legacy code burdens faced by the enterprise IT players who architect for layers of capabilities and past decisions in complex enterprise environments; they have a different configuration of burdens.  It also doesn't have the legacy experience and customer base, especially when compared to Microsoft or even Amazon.

Google is perhaps best-suited for consumer technology markets, where the company can compete for less demanding, less complex and yet underserved segments. With Cisco talking about web-based applications and Microsoft Office Web Apps on the horizon it seems natural that Google could be in the best position to monetize the consumer segments where others stumble or simply flip pared down solutions. 

A recent editorial by InformationWeek's Art Wittmann really hits the spot:

So while the Chrome OS isn't likely to have a short-term profound impact on business users, consumers are finally getting the attention and the products they deserve. Microsoft understands the stakes--and in an ironic turn of the tables, while Google touts a vaporous OS, Microsoft is delivering Windows seven months early. Let the games begin.

- Art Wittmann, InformationWeek, July 20, 2009

Internet advertising powerhouse Google has managed to put much of the IT world on notice.  The real question is just how much of this coming transformation will it be able to monetize versus subsidize.  While those of us in enterprise IT may appear confused by where Google is going, they may simply be re-architecting IT for consumers.

At some point then it would make sense for Google to position itself ever more broadly as a consumer technology company.  Yet as Chris points out that doesn't fit cleanly with search advertising.

This inherent contrast between search giant and consumer IT incubator is both a risk and opportunity at a time when users are facing ever more choices for operating systems, computers, servers, applications, you name it.  Given the heightened level of competition in IT (versus search), Google may need more resources and time than originally estimated; they may also face unanticipated competitors, from the likes of Apple to a host of service providers leveraging new breakthroughs in IT innovation to deliver new consumer technologies and applications.

For the foreseeable future Google's fortunes will continue to be tied to advertising revenues, which isn't all that bad.  Microsoft's Bing may have more impact on Yahoo than Google, at least in the short term.  Yet it appears that Google is evolving from a strong position in a large market to weaker positions in IT markets experiencing disruption and heightened competition.  Where it goes tomorrow may have more to do with execution than the power of its legacy assets.

Follow my rants, ramblings and recommended reads at: www.twitter.com/archimedius

More Stories By Greg Ness

Greg Ness is a Silicon Valley marketing veteran with background in networking, security, virtualization and cloud computing. He is VP Marketing at CloudVelocity. Formerly at Vantage Data Centers, Infoblox, Blue Lane Technologies, Juniper Networks, Redline Networks, McAfee, IntruVerofficer at Networks and ShoreTel. He is one of the world's top cloud bloggers.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
"We provide IoT solutions. We provide the most compatible solutions for many applications. Our solutions are industry agnostic and also protocol agnostic," explained Richard Han, Head of Sales and Marketing and Engineering at Systena America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calligo, an innovative cloud service provider offering mid-sized companies the highest levels of data privacy and security, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Calligo offers unparalleled application performance guarantees, commercial flexibility and a personalised support service from its globally located cloud plat...
"We've been engaging with a lot of customers including Panasonic, we've been involved with Cisco and now we're working with the U.S. government - the Department of Homeland Security," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
"The Striim platform is a full end-to-end streaming integration and analytics platform that is middleware that covers a lot of different use cases," explained Steve Wilkes, Founder and CTO at Striim, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We are focused on SAP running in the clouds, to make this super easy because we believe in the tremendous value of those powerful worlds - SAP and the cloud," explained Frank Stienhans, CTO of Ocean9, Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
DX World EXPO, LLC., a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"MobiDev is a Ukraine-based software development company. We do mobile development, and we're specialists in that. But we do full stack software development for entrepreneurs, for emerging companies, and for enterprise ventures," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
While the focus and objectives of IoT initiatives are many and diverse, they all share a few common attributes, and one of those is the network. Commonly, that network includes the Internet, over which there isn't any real control for performance and availability. Or is there? The current state of the art for Big Data analytics, as applied to network telemetry, offers new opportunities for improving and assuring operational integrity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Frey, Vice President of S...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
In his opening keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Michael Maximilien, Research Scientist, Architect, and Engineer at IBM, discussed the full potential of the cloud and social data requires artificial intelligence. By mixing Cloud Foundry and the rich set of Watson services, IBM's Bluemix is the best cloud operating system for enterprises today, providing rapid development and deployment of applications that can take advantage of the rich catalog of Watson services to help drive insights from the vast t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EnterpriseTech has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. EnterpriseTech is a professional resource for news and intelligence covering the migration of high-end technologies into the enterprise and business-IT industry, with a special focus on high-tech solutions in new product development, workload management, increased effic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy named "Bronze Sponsor" of 21st International Cloud Expo which will take place October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud com...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CHEETAH Training & Innovation will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CHEETAH Training & Innovation is a cloud consulting and IT training firm specializing in improving clients cloud strategies and infrastructures for medium to large companies.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datanami has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datanami is a communication channel dedicated to providing insight, analysis and up-to-the-minute information about emerging trends and solutions in Big Data. The publication sheds light on all cutting-edge technologies including networking, storage and applications, and thei...
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...