Gartner has published its annual update. At a first glance not much has changed in the diagram since 2019. However, the Magic Quadrant’s scope is extended to include not just Infrastructure, but also Platform Services.
This is not about changing the definition; it reflects the evolution in supply and demand in this market. An important – and inevitable – evolution: moving your architecture ‘up’ from IaaS components toward more PaaS solutions is necessary if you want to maximize the benefits from cloud technologies.
This evolution has two implications. First, the barrier to entry is raised. Initially, datacenter capability and capital expenditure could buy you a ticket into the game. As the game continued, players dropped out. Whereas the 2017 Quadrant still had 14 vendors, in 2018 only 6 were still on the pitch. Fast forward, today it’s about the ability to innovate at scale – broad and deep – and to cultivate a comprehensive ecosystem. Competing has become much more complicated than burning a pile of cash on buying hardware.
Second, the differences between providers are accentuated. For example, comparing 2020 with 2019, AWS has distanced itself from Microsoft. This must come as a surprise to those who were focussing on ‘revenue growth percentages’ as the leading proxy for capability and quality.
‘Cloud is just someone else’s computer’ – those days are over. Not just when comparing the ‘private’ with ‘public’ cloud offerings and vendors, but also when taking a closer look at the latter category. Also, the use of the adjective ‘public’ should not be interpreted as it being a category consisting of interchangeable commodity or just basic utility services.
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