Rebirth of the phoenix
Sounds like they will soon be giving AWS a run for their money. Jeff Bezos, spend it while you can!
Microsoft has closed out a massive fiscal 2018 that saw the Redmond giant lay claim to more than $110bn in total revenue. Azure and its cloud compute operation was singled out in Redmond's financial figures – released on Thursday – as one of Microsoft's top performers both in the full year and the past three months. Here's a …
" I'm sure many big businesses would prefer Microsoft's name to that of Amazon"
Any sensible big business would use both. Why put all your eggs in one cloudy basket ?
But there are some things the AWS platform does better than Azure (e.g. AWS IAM is a lot more usable and granular than the Azure equivalent).
There is no better validation for the usefullness of The Cloud (TM) than making oodles of money out of it.
Despite its failures, despite the security issues, The Cloud is milking it, ensuring that people will use it and companies will want their share of the pie.
So The Cloud is here to stay.
"...Despite its failures, despite the security issues, The Cloud is milking it, ensuring that people will use it and companies will want their share of the pie..."
But this is the problem, really, isn't it?
PHB's eye up the potential savings without ever considering (or being given the data to consider) doing it properly.
Equally there's this rush to an all-in mindset whereby everything gets thrown over the fence and into the cloud regardless of whether it's actually suitable or not.
Cloud* based services have a place. But like in any other heterogeneous solution that place needs to be planned and designed rather than this shitty "it's their problem now" mindset. And just like any other solution it's not a panacea.
What we actually tend to see in this cluster-rush is the antithesis of a well designed, well planned solution.
*Another meaningless term I loathe. Call it what it is - utility-based computing (i.e. computing based on a utility model). When I come home at night and turn my light on, As an average consumer, I don't really care where or how the electricity is generated from or how it gets to me etc. I care that my light comes on. Reliably. And I care (quite a bit) that when I turn said light off, I stop paying for the electricity.
> PHB's eye up the potential savings without ever considering (or being given the data to consider) doing it properly.
I think another factor is poor service from IT departments that might be driving companies to the cloud, particularly for software as a service. A competent IT department can deliver great service, but building and keeping a team of competent staff is a non-trivial exercise. Compounding this are consultants who deliver crap and rarely stick around long enough to learn the business.
As for the rest of your comments, I agree.
"...I think another factor is poor service from IT departments that might be driving companies to the cloud, particularly for software as a service.
A competent IT department can deliver great service, but building and keeping a team of competent staff is a non-trivial exercise. Compounding this are consultants who deliver crap and rarely stick around long enough to learn the business...."
Yeah but as others have pointed out, this move rarely negates the need for local IT staff to anything like the extent that managers seem to believe it can.
"I think another factor is poor service from IT departments"
Been there and done that. A planned install on customer site turned into an Azure deployment one week later when, apparently, the IT manager looked his staff's competence in the eye and decided that they were going to be very exposed, especially on backup and disaster recovery. I wasn't exactly offered a choice - left to me it would have been onsite install, but it was either cloud or not get the job.
"The Cloud is here to stay"
The economies of scale mean that the cloud providers can deliver more quickly and offer better resilience and scalability than an inhouse solution. An inhouse team, even for a major bank, can't justify the cost of having lots of scalable primary and secondary servers plus storage and backup solutions waiting ready to run. Nor can they afford to develop all the software tooling required to deploy new solutions to a choice of multiple architectures at the click of a mouse.
It's the equivalent of a small corner shop trying to compete with a 24*7 Tesco on their doorstep.
Actually, the margins indicate that the market is open to the competition that is coming. I don't think breaking up is going to be required but it is likely that we'll see requests for some kind of guarantee that you can move from one provider to the other. Smart CIOs will be putting this directly in their contracts.
Also, cloudy revenues for Microsoft now mean lower Personal Computing revenues tomorrow.
You're the boss at ACME Widget Corporation. You read crappy business magazines full of smug people bragging about their success and feel that this is your world and that you're a "player" too. You've read 2 years worth of bullshit about The Cloud and how it's a miraculous thing that no truly good manager would neglect to be a part of. You spend a fortune moving all your IT into the cloud, ending up being able to do exactly what you did before after all the costly pain of the migration, and still needing all the IT people who ran the in house systems because all that work still needs doing. Sometimes the cloud goes down, just like the old systems occasionally used to.
Repeat this exercise a million times over worldwide, and a stunning amount of money ends up in the Microsoft bank account.
It's perfectly possible for a start-up company to get Office, Teams, Skype, CRM, Intune managed laptops and phones, AI, big-data etc. etc. all with many nines reliability with zero on-prem footprint after just a long weekend of work on the Office 365 and Azure portals. No BOFHs needed, ever!
You have to hand it to Nadella it has been a remarkable turn around under his watch. I remember well 4-5 years ago, Microsoft didn't seem to have any long term vision and were running into a wall after some dismal acquisitions like Nokia. While pimping premium Surface gear he has in parallel given way to a device-agnostic approach, Office on anything, and LinkedIn and Github both very interesting in their own way. It won't be long until Microsoft (and a few big players) are the only ones left, well after traditional VARs and MSPs are out of business, or are scrimping a living selling some IP built on Azure.
"after some dismal acquisitions like Nokia"
It wasn't a dismal acquisition; it was a very good one.
It was what they did with Nokia after the acquisition that was a total fuster-cluck.
And their long-term visions of "One Windows!" and "Mobile First!" are the causes of the total cock-ups that are the windows-8 segment of windows 10, the effluent interface, the crippling of desktop functionality in MS office, etc, as they rushed to give every machine (including those with multiple 24" plus monitors) a smartphone UI.
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