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Crocodile in the Yangtze Signals Certainty of a Global Cloud War By @IanKhanLive | @CloudExpo #Cloud

The cloud industry worldwide is being propelled into fast growth by tremendous demand for cloud computing services

Crocodile in the Yangtze Signals Certainty of a Global Cloud War

Alibaba, the world's largest ecommerce provider, has pumped over a $1 billion into its subsidiary, Aliya, a cloud services provider. This is perhaps one of the biggest moments in the global Cloud Wars that signals the entry of China into the main arena. Here is why this matters.

The cloud industry worldwide is being propelled into fast growth by tremendous demand for cloud computing services. Cloud, which is highly scalable and offers low investment and high computational capabilities to end users by eliminating the need to buy costly infrastructure and instead rent it from cloud providers, is now projected to be a $200 billion industry worldwide by 2020. This estimate may even get inflated as we get closer to 2020, given the fast growth rate of cloud.

For cloud providers, the ability to provide services to customers comes in many shapes and sizes. Manufactures, resellers, platforms, vendors and multiple other customer types build an ecosystem of the customer base for a typical cloud services provider. Some vendors specialize in cloud infrastructure and help provide computation capacity, storage, databases and more complex aspects that are a must for technology industries, software companies and enterprises to function. Many others just focus on specific needs, such as storage or processor power. Move on now to providers that we typically know to be large scale providers that have a proven business model. This includes names such as Google, Microsoft and Amazon. Those of us who see Amazon as only an online retailer need to brush up a little on their general knowledge. From its early days as an online book store, Amazon now is one of the world's largest providers of cloud Infrastructure and is rivalled by only few other names. Amazon has solidified its business by taking what it already had, the costly infrastructure that it had put into place for its own use, and spinning it off into a cloud business. Amazon now offers a myriad number of highly specialized cloud services that are needed by the technology industry to power their own businesses.

On the other side of the ocean, consider Alibaba. A leading rival of Amazon and now fast becoming a looming threat to Amazon's dominance, Alibaba's story is similar to that of Amazon. It has quickly grown from being one of China's largest ecommerce retailers to becoming a powerhouse of cloud computational power. That's not the end of the story. Alibaba just injected over $1 billion into its cloud computing subsidiary and this for sure is a big knock on the doors of Amazon and its companions of an emerging battle to dominate the cloud. The $1 billion will get Alibaba a lot of experimentation power. Just the ability to create new offerings that rival and even offer cut-throat competition to Amazon is a blow to Amazon's dominance worldwide. Although other players such as Google and Microsoft form major counterparts in the global Cloud Wars, their reaction to a new competitor will be worth noting.

For now and for the next few years, the cloud industry offers tremendous growth opportunities: first because demand is growing and second we have not reached a saturation point overall. There are multiple industries and verticals that definitely have growth space to offer. What is going to be interesting is how players from economies such as China, India and other tech-savvy regions will enter the mainstream. For consumers the news could not get any better. More providers offer the convenience of lower costs for cloud-based services and translate into higher availability of services that utilize cloud computing technologies. The next time you pay for our coffee at Starbucks or pay for your parking using a credit card, let me point out that you just utilized a small aspect of cloud technology. Now consider all the trade, innovation and computation that powers the global industries. It's tremendous!

With new providers such as Alibaba entering the global arena of cloud computing, it would be worth considering that the cloud is going to be an exciting front, and Cloud Wars a definite certainty.

More Stories By Ian Khan

CNN Futurist, Forbes Contributor, Author, 3 Time TEDx Speaker and Technology Futurist, over the last 20 years Ian Khan has had the privilege to serve the needs of over 5000 organizations by fueling their growth through technology solutions. He has helped a diverse set of businesses ranging from Technology Companies, Oil Companies, Power Generation & Renewables Operators, Microsoft Ecosystem Partners, SAP Customers and Partners, Healthcare Providers, Manufacturers, Facility Operators, Startups, Educational Institutions, Nonprofits & associations and more. Ian’s experiences with these organizations led him to a unique position of being able to identify the common challenges of growth for all these organizations. The bottom line as he found out, is that we all are hungry for success and want to grow and make a difference. Where we fall short is by failing to understand our environment and taking the right action within that environment. After 20 years serving the needs of the industry Ian’s natural pivot was to answer his calling and help organizations at a broader level understand what tomorrow brings. His work and study of all these organizations brought forward very unique perspectives that he now share through his work. Today, hands down, we live in the great time for humanity. Technology is a great thing, but it also has its victims. Many organizations of tomorrow will fail under the pressure of a fast changing world, much of which is fueled and driven by technology. Ian’s mission is to help organizations avoid that pitfall, and propel themselves into success in today’s era and go from digital disruption to digital transformation in the fastest and most sustainable way. This is the only way, according to him, we can together create limitless value, create solutions that are faced by us locally as well as by others around the globe, and make the world a happier place. Today Ian’s work spans working with people by delivering keynotes, consulting and by promoting his 7 –Axioms methodology through his book and workshops. He is also working on an ambitious project of releasing a documentary in spring of 2018 called Industry 4.0. Industry 4.0 will capture the thoughts and insights of some of the world’s leading thinkers and help us understand the 4th Industrial Revolution, Its Impact, and how we can all be have an opportunity to be part of the emerging future and make the right choices. For more information please visit www.iankhan.com

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