Cloud Platform: What can the Google Cloud do?

Cloud Platform: What can the Google Cloud do?

What are the benefits of Google Cloud? How is it different from other cloud platforms? And which cloud products are there? […]

The market for cloud solutions is on the move – worldwide, but especially in Europe. In 2020, the three major cloud hyperscalers Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud have each invested around two billion US dollars per month globally in the expansion of the technical infrastructure, cloud-based products and industry-specific solutions. This is a sum that makes the IT budget of every user company fade.

Google Cloud has started as a laggard in the cloud market. However, the company has now secured a firm position among the three leading providers of cloud infrastructure and platform services through massive investments in infrastructure and the development of cloud services, numerous acquisitions and the strong expansion of sales.

With a growth rate of 46 percent in the first quarter of 2021, Google Cloud is the fastest growing of the three hyperscalers. The European market plays an important role in this. Google Cloud is more often used in multi-cloud scenarios as a secondary provider or as a supplement for specialized solutions. Increasingly, however, the Google Cloud is also being used as the primary or even sole cloud platform.

The services offered by Google Cloud are now comparable to AWS and Microsoft Azure. This includes the classic services for compute, storage and network as well as cloud management, automation and cloud security. Based on Google’s history in the search engine and advertising business, a special focus at Google Cloud is also on offers in the areas of big data and data analysis as well as artificial intelligence and machine learning. Google Workspace (formerly GSuite) as an example of software-as-a-service offers rounds off the portfolio. The following graphic shows the entire service portfolio of Google Cloud, mapped to 14 standard categories for public cloud services:

The Google Cloud (c) Accenture portfolio

The market for cloud solutions is on the move – worldwide, but especially in Europe. In 2020, the three major cloud hyperscalers Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud have each invested around two billion US dollars per month globally in the expansion of the technical infrastructure, cloud-based products and industry-specific solutions. This is a sum that makes the IT budget of every user company fade.

Google Cloud has started as a laggard in the cloud market. However, the company has now secured a firm position among the three leading providers of cloud infrastructure and platform services through massive investments in infrastructure and the development of cloud services, numerous acquisitions and the strong expansion of sales.

With a growth rate of 46 percent in the first quarter of 2021, Google Cloud is the fastest growing of the three hyperscalers. The European market plays an important role in this. Google Cloud is more often used in multi-cloud scenarios as a secondary provider or as a supplement for specialized solutions. Increasingly, however, the Google Cloud is also being used as the primary or even sole cloud platform.

The services offered by Google Cloud are now comparable to AWS and Microsoft Azure. This includes the classic services for compute, storage and network as well as cloud management, automation and cloud security. Based on Google’s history in the search engine and advertising business, a special focus at Google Cloud is also on offers in the areas of big data and data analysis as well as artificial intelligence and machine learning. Google Workspace (formerly GSuite) as an example of software-as-a-service offers rounds off the portfolio. The following graphic shows the entire service portfolio of Google Cloud, mapped to 14 standard categories for public cloud services:

The Google Cloud (c) Accenture portfolio

Google Cloud invests heavily in IT security and relies on multi-layered security layers that already start with specialized hardware and specially developed processors. With BSI C5:2020, FINMA, GDPR and others, the Google Cloud has the relevant certifications in the German-speaking market. The Google Cloud has also successfully undergone the so-called “pooled Audit” of the Collaborative Cloud Audit Group (CCAG), which includes Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Börse and KfW, among others. In addition, Google Cloud is contractually committed to complying with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and data sovereignty of its customers.

In terms of climate protection, Google Cloud claims to have been CO22 neutral since 2007. By 2030, Google Cloud aims to cover 100 percent of global energy consumption with renewable energies and further improve the energy efficiency of data centers. The data center in Hamina (Finland) is currently considered a flagship model – seawater is used for cooling here.

To grow its cloud business, Google Cloud is increasingly relying on strategic partnerships with enterprise customers. In December 2020, Google announced a ten-year collaboration between Deutsche Bank and Google Cloud. Together we want to develop the next generation of technology-based financial services. The use of artificial intelligence and state-of-the-art technologies for data analysis play a central role in this.

Also in December 2020, Google announced the first strategic partnership in the energy management industry with Landis+Gyr. Their goal is innovations for cloud-based solutions in the field of smart metering and grid edge intelligence. In addition to the technology, the partners also expect to benefit from the innovation and agility attributed to Google and to further develop their own corporate culture.

The Google Cloud offers a wide range of services designed to support enterprise customers in their journey to the cloud and the journey within the cloud. Her strengths lie in big data and data analysis as well as artificial intelligence and machine learning. Based on this, Google Cloud is increasingly developing industry-specific solutions. For example, by combining a company’s customer data with search data collected by Google, together with the real-time analysis capabilities of the Google Cloud, completely new, personalized customer experiences can be realized.

With Google Workspace, Google offers a cloud-based productivity and collaboration solution in addition to the classic hyperscaler offering, which is increasingly being considered as an alternative to the established Microsoft counterpart Office 365. Especially digital natives, but also established companies such as Airbus and Roche have already opted for Workspace.

In addition to the breadth of the service portfolio, the high performance of the network and the infrastructure as a whole, as well as the billing modalities, should be highlighted. In the Google Cloud, the billing of many cloud services is accurate to the second. In addition, customers benefit from a flexible, configurable for the respective workload and thus cost-optimized cutting of the virtual servers. In addition, there is an automatic optimization of cloud costs in the interests of customers.

In the discussion about cloud sovereignty, the Google Cloud scores with the fact that it is largely based on open source solutions, such as Kubernetes, Hadoop or TensorFlow, which Google itself initiated, developed and made available to the community. Even with approaches such as site Reliability Engineering (SRE), Google has taken new paths in the cooperation of development and operation at an early stage and created another industry-wide standard.

In a comparatively short period of time, Google Cloud has grown into a full-fledged alternative to the two top dogs AWS and Microsoft Azure. Europe and especially the German-speaking countries are expected to benefit greatly from the further expansion course and the massive investments.

On the one hand, Google Cloud’s investments in strategic partnerships can positively influence the business case for cloud transformation and, on the other hand, accelerate the business growth of the respective partner through innovations and new business models. When developing and updating their cloud strategy, companies and institutions in the German-speaking region should therefore include the Google Cloud in the considerations in an open-ended manner.

*Tobias Regenfuß is Accenture’s Managing Director for Cloud and Infrastructure in the DACH region. The mathematician has been working for Accenture since 1994.

**Timo Nink is Managing Director at Accenture.

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