Clash of Clouds: Enabling Transformation

How do you make the most of cloud?

Organisations continue to migrate their systems away from on-premise data centres and onto the cloud. In doing so, are starting to recognise real business benefits – from lower expenditure to increased agility. So, the complete shift to the cloud is well underway. But are businesses getting cloud adoption right and gaining the technology’s full benefits?

To help explore this question, the cloud engineering team at BJSS is hosting an event as part of Leeds Digital Festival. Taking place on Tuesday 20th September, Clash of Clouds will explore which cloud provider is the right choice for your organisation, wherever you are on your journey.

We’ll focus on the current landscape of the ‘Big Three’ cloud providers and how their offerings can be put to best use when facing a wide range of technological challenges. We’ll then take you through several case studies, including low-cost pandemic responses, cloud-enabled digital transformation, and massive data processing. Our three teams will then compete to make a case for the cloud provider they represent. As a primer, though, let’s walk through the major differences between the Big Three.

The Big Three:

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

In 2021, Microsoft and Google gained ground on Amazon in terms of market share. Still, there is no disputing that Amazon remains the largest player in the game, with 38.9% of the worldwide IaaS Public Cloud Service market share, followed by Microsoft and Google taking 21.1% and 7.1%, respectively. Let’s investigate what some of the reasoning behind that might be.

AWS is the oldest of them all, having started in 2006. It has the broadest set of services and is arguably the most reliable. The company also has the greatest number of availability zones and regions. As a result, many consider AWS offerings to be more mature. This maturity, combined with AWS’ market-leading third-party ecosystem, has contributed toward the organisation building an impressive client base, including; Netflix, AirBnB and Dow Jones.

The culture around AWS is very much engineering-led, meaning it sets lofty standards across its services, with everything built on solid engineering principles. But this can make it feel like a selection of separate services for the user to plumb together as everything is custom. Alongside this, cost forecasting is not particularly easy when building fresh solutions.

Microsoft Azure

This leads us to Microsoft Azure. Azure has taken a different angle to AWS, leaning on Microsoft’s corporate heritage to sell and support businesses through cloud adoption rather than the engineering-first approach. This has resulted in Azure being popular at the C level, as Microsoft’s credibility with business shines through.

Microsoft will often support businesses through the entire cloud adoption journey, with assistance through financial, compliance and legal implications. Companies that have benefited through this include HSBC, Ford, and almost the Pentagon, with the controversial JEDI contract a few years ago.

Microsoft understands business requirements very well and provides excellent governance, security, and compliance tooling. Despite being the youngest of the Big Three, it has already gained immense trust from global businesses and has leveraged this successfully. Services such as Active Directory and Exchange are already the gold standard in their respective domains. Microsoft Azure is more focused on providing pre-packaged solutions to support business needs. But this can lead to issues with a lack of engineering depth that other providers have, with some sentiment that it is too marketing-driven.

Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

Finally, let us look at the middle child of the Big Three cloud providers – GCP. On the one hand, it lacks the maturity of AWS or the proven business trust of Azure. But it is the most cost-efficient of the Big Three and has led the way in container-based models, originating Kubernetes. GCP has spun its container expertise into a broad range of services through Anthos. The provider is also seemingly the leader in ML & AI-related cloud technology.

Many big names have also been convinced, with Nintendo, PayPal, and Spotify all opting to use GCP. The latter has famously gone as far as migrating everything from on-premises to GCP due to Google’s ability to handle big data and the cultural fit between the two businesses. But there are some risks with using Google. The company’s hard-to-shake reputation for terminating services, in addition to its lack of maturity and business trust, has left some sceptical.

Whilst we’re looking into all the practical reasons for choosing a cloud provider, as with any of the Big Three, it’s worth highlighting that Amazon, Microsoft and Google are giant corporations involved in many industries. Factors like; not wanting to line the pockets of your competition and a cohesive digital strategy for a business will play as much of a role (if not more) than the technical capabilities of a cloud provider.

Delving beneath the surface:

The above is only a surface-level look. At Clash of Clouds, we’ll take a much more in-depth look at the real-life challenges presented when approaching cloud adoption, with experienced architects, platform engineers, and cloud migration experts running through the key factors that influence decisions regarding cloud adoption.

Our speakers will be debating with each other and ultimately fighting the corner as to why their chosen cloud provider is the optimal solution to your issues. So come along, get involved, grab some popcorn and enjoy the show.

Find out more and register for the event here.

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