Why Amazon, Microsoft, and Google will remain dominant in the cloud

The public cloud could save your business money in the long run, says Agio CEO Bart McDonough.

Why Amazon, Microsoft, and Google will remain dominant in the cloud

TechRepublic's Dan Patterson asks Agio CEO Bart McDonough about how the public cloud could save a business money in the long run. The following is an edited transcript of the interview.

Dan Patterson: Are there external events, say an economic downturn or recession, or something else that might make us look at other options and say, "Look, the cloud's great, but we have to go back to the old ways to control cost."

Bart McDonough: I think it could. We see it in little areas where there's economic downturn, because you get to pay for only what you consume. We actually find in areas, in verticals, where there is a little bit more economic pressure, people going to the public cloud, because as their business grows, they pay more, but as their business shrinks, they usually pay less, as opposed to some fixed-cost model where they have a lot of capital costs, and regardless of what their business does, they're kind of paying the same amount. So we actually see public cloud adoption going up when there are depressions within verticals.

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Patterson: I want to go back to those big players you mentioned a moment ago [Amazon, Microsoft, and Google], especially when it comes to competition. Are we simply at the beginning of the public cloud era, and we are more or less locked in to these big players? Or is it possible for other players to come in from the side? What do we see in terms of competition with the public cloud?

McDonough: I think, for the foreseeable future, those are going to be the big three. I think you have the IBMs of the world, that might be able to join that race. Certainly, they have the resources to it, but I think these three have a pretty strong hold. They all have their relative strengths.

I think we're all benefitting from the competition between these three. They're constantly adding new capabilities, and that doesn't equate into an additional charge. So we're all kind of benefiting from some of this right now. As one of those three makes an acquisition of a new widget or an new capability, they're adding that into their core functionality. It's a little bit of an arms race there. I think we're all benefiting from that, but to directly answer your question, I think these three are going to be in pole position for a while.

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