April 18, 2013, 3:04 PM —
Are you ready to add Microsoft to your list of potential public cloud providers? The company certainly hopes so, and apparently is reducing prices for its Azure public cloud offerings in order to compete with the market leader, Amazon.
The good news for enterprise IT (and even for SMBs) is that the more vendors, the lower prices for public cloud services can go. It's pretty clear that this battle is going to be a big-player game, since entities like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google have huge infrastructures and presence and can bring massive economies of scale to their operations. For that reason alone, most corporations should use public cloud as much as possible, because you're probably not going to be able to duplicate the services on your own, either in terms of price or range of services.
My question is, how many of these big players can the market support? It's possible that we are only at the very start of the cloud era, and as mobile access technologies (like the new 802.11ac Wi-FI protocol) arrive, mobile workers and mobile workforces may be more willing and able to turn to the cloud for a number of applications and services. And spreading the public cloud love around could also serve as a kind of fail-safe backup, by not having all your data in one spot.
But I still don't think there's room for all the players to survive, or make significant money. Microsoft's track record for supporting online businesses I would say is still a work in progress, so I'm not sure that lower prices are going to convince enterprise IT to make the switch. Do you think differently? Let me know, visit the Mobile Enterprise 360 community.