L.A.-based IaaS Leader Calls on Small and Midsize Businesses To Recognize Who Their Allies Really Are
LOS ANGELES (June 30, 2017) – Amazon swallows Whole Foods. Walmart follows by declaring Amazon Web Services (AWS) off-limits for Walmart’s IT vendors. Despite the movie blockbuster overtones, it’s not really a Batman vs. Captain America clash of the titans. It just seems like one at first glance.
So says Adam Stern, CEO of leading Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider Infinitely Virtual, who suggests that there’s absolutely no reason for small and midsize businesses to get mixed up in this iteration of hardball.
The backstory – which has Walmart gobbling up ecommerce players Jet.com, Modcloth, and Bonobos – does in fact pit the two retail giants in a proxy war of sorts for mindshare, if not brand share, in various coming ecommerce face-offs. AWS claims 44 percent of the cloud services market, with Microsoft taking a distant second, and IBM, Google, Alibaba and Oracle pulling up the rear. Walmart has traditionally relied on its own data centers.
But to Stern, the real takeaway is that none of the mega providers has been shown to be the kind of partner on which small and midsize businesses can rely. And that goes double when the topic is as basic as security. “There’s nothing inherent in AWS that makes it especially secure – it’s a DIY environment,” Stern says. “Amazon by itself doesn’t do anything for you. You, the user, need put in the firewalls and do the other things that make it secure. Or rely on a new ecosystem of people who build those security measures for Amazon.
“Let’s leave the drama to DC and Marvel,” he suggests. “As the AWS outage demonstrated earlier this year, lack of transparency has become a feature, not a bug, for Amazon in cloud services. In this sense, Walmart hit on something that corporate users are beginning to acknowledge about the market leader – a reality that small and midsize businesses have long understood about the very biggest players in the game.
“Amazon Web Services, Microsoft’s Azure and others in that cohort are not the cloud,” he says. “The cloud exists precisely for those small and midsize businesses that lack a tech army. The AWS organization simply isn’t set up to focus on niche segments without a Fortune-style customer in the mix. It thrives on a ‘high volume, low transaction cost’ model, which was never intended to accommodate small and midsize businesses.
“The cloud, however, is nothing if not radically dispersed — it’s a vast ecosystem consisting of thousands and thousands of vendors with offerings tailor-made for verticals and specific markets,” Stern says. “By that measure, Amazon is a dominant player within a very large landscape, which is why you won’t find many small businesses hanging out with AWS, Azure, IBM or Google.”
According to Stern, cloud providers who are delivering for small and midsize business have long since validated the efficacy of the cloud. “These providers supply the fuel to keep cloud computing alive and kicking – vigorously,” he said. “Walmart’s rationale in getting some distance from Amazon may differ from those of our clients, but the net effect is the same. Bigger isn’t necessarily better and, increasingly, the exact opposite is the case.”
To speak with Adam Stern, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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