How future-proof is the Google cloud portfolio?

Google is known for “just” throw a new service on the market. That’s their corporate culture. It promotes creativity within the company and ensures innovation. But at the end of the day also Google must be clean up the playground. This resulted in numerous closures of famous and lesser-known services in the recent past. Latest victim is the popular Google Reader. It will be shut down at 1th of July 2013. This naturally raises the question of how vulnerable Google’s cloud services are for a portfolio adjustment. At least the finger on the close button seems to fit very loosely.

Longevity vs. popularity

Google scrubs its Google Reader as its popularity has fallen sharply in the past, Google said. That Google is apparently not quite right here, shows a recent petition against its closure. After all, 20,000+ subscribed against its closing.

Google sometimes gives me the impression that it is like a big kid. They find many things at once exciting (20 percent rule), play with it, investing time and then loses interest and pleasure, when the playmates apparently no longer want to play with it. The concentration phase is only with a few products really high. (From a entrepreneurial point of view correct.)

Companies do not like that

Google is currently making great efforts to broadly make it in the business environment. Regarding current providers such as Microsoft and IBM no easy task. Google’s trump card is that they are born in the cloud and know the rules inside out. Finally, they almost self-developed them.

Nevertheless, the question is permissible. Why should a business use Google cloud services, such as Google Apps or the Google Cloud Platform, if services that are apparently not used sufficiently well, to be suddenly closed? Even if Google has monetized above named cloud solutions now, this question retains its place. Because by the monetization of individual service suddenly gets a new KPI, the revenue!

Google may assume that enterprises will not be thrilled if they suddenly get an e-mail that the service they are using will be closed due to lower attractiveness and revenue figures in three months.

For enterprises, this type of product management is not attractive and Google must learn that enterprises need to be treated differently from private users. Even if the consumerization progresses.

Clean up the portfolio is good, but…

No question, it makes sense to clean up the portfolio steadily. It is also recommended for many other providers. However, these seem to act in the interests of their customers and offer their products and services on a long-term roadmap. However, it seems that the finger at the “service close button” at Google sits relatively loose.

I do not think companies will come together for a petition against the closure of Google services. Indeed, you always hear about “too big to fail”, but Google is not as big as all that.

By Rene Buest

Rene Buest is Gartner Analyst covering Infrastructure Services & Digital Operations. Prior to that he was Director of Technology Research at Arago, Senior Analyst and Cloud Practice Lead at Crisp Research, Principal Analyst at New Age Disruption and member of the worldwide Gigaom Research Analyst Network. Rene is considered as top cloud computing analyst in Germany and one of the worldwide top analysts in this area. In addition, he is one of the world’s top cloud computing influencers and belongs to the top 100 cloud computing experts on Twitter and Google+. Since the mid-90s he is focused on the strategic use of information technology in businesses and the IT impact on our society as well as disruptive technologies.

Rene Buest is the author of numerous professional technology articles. He regularly writes for well-known IT publications like Computerwoche, CIO Magazin, LANline as well as and is cited in German and international media – including New York Times, Forbes Magazin, Handelsblatt, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Wirtschaftswoche, Computerwoche, CIO, Manager Magazin and Harvard Business Manager. Furthermore Rene Buest is speaker and participant of experts rounds. He is founder of and writes about cloud computing, IT infrastructure, technologies, management and strategies. He holds a diploma in computer engineering from the Hochschule Bremen (Dipl.-Informatiker (FH)) as well as a M.Sc. in IT-Management and Information Systems from the FHDW Paderborn.

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