The day we thought would never arrive—the end of 2020!!—has indeed finally turned up and in the spirit of a much better year to come in 2021, I’d like to share my choices for the Top 10 Cloud Wars stories of 2020.
Overall, I think 2021 will see the enterprise cloud drive unprecedented levels of innovation, capability, insight and value in not only the business world but also in our personal lives.
And I continue to believe the cloud will demonstrate beyond question that it is the greatest growth market the world has ever seen.
That will be true on a scale that’s not just linear, and here’s what I mean by that. People often use a baseball analogy in describing the cloud, saying something like “We’re only in the first inning” or the second. The assumption within that analogy is that all innings are the same, and that they differ only in number.
But I think that perspective vastly undervalues and underestimates the cumulative impact of the cloud, very much along the lines of what I learned as a kid about the “compounding value” of interest in a savings account.
What businesses are able to do with the cloud in these relatively early days will help them build new cultures centered on customers, on data, on innovation, and on digital breakthroughs. And as those businesses build these new capabilities, each successive breakthrough and each successive level of capability will be much more powerful and high-impact than preceding ones.
It is not an efficiency game; it is, rather, an unfolding adventure built on escalating capabilities, more-powerful innovations, and higher-value breakthroughs. To use the baseball analogy, what we achieved in the first inning will be dwarfed by what we will achieve in, say, the fifth or sixth inning because all of the successive capabilities with data and digital and customer co-creation will build upon one another.
So in that spirit, I’m delighted to share my Top 10 Cloud Wars stories of 2020.
But first, I also want to recommend that you take a look at our comprehensive and in-depth profiles of each of the world-changing vendors in our recent Cloud Wars Top 10 Special Report: Which Cloud Vendors Will Thrive in 2021?
Here are the links to the our in-depth analyses of each company in that Special Report, and then I’ll share my 10 favorite stories of 2020.
A. Cloud Wars Top 10 Special Report: Which Vendors Will Thrive in 2021?
- Workday: Workday Doubles Down on Planning, Analytics and ML to Rip and Replace Legacy IT
- ServiceNow: Bill McDermott and ServiceNow Are Disrupting the Software Industry—Hallelujah!
- IBM: IBM’s Secret Weapon Isn’t Red Hat—It’s Much Bigger than That!
- Microsoft: Can Amazon, Google or Oracle Replace Microsoft as World’s #1 Cloud Vendor?
- SAP: SAP’S Huge Bet on Industry Cloud Could Be Game-Changer Against Oracle, Salesforce
- Oracle: Confounding His Critics, Larry Ellison Turns Oracle into Cloud Powerhouse
- Amazon: As Amazon Web Services Blows Past $50 Billion, Will Jeff Bezos Trigger Huge IPO?
- Salesforce: With or Without Slack, Salesforce Will Remain #1 in Cloud Applications
- Google: Google Already Fastest-Growing Cloud Vendor, but Thomas Kurian’s Just Getting Started
- Adobe: Can Shantanu Narayen and Adobe Replicate Consumer Magic in Enterprise?
And now, my favorite stories from 2020.
B. The Top 10 Cloud Wars Stories of 2020 (Top Secret: because you’re all so wonderful and deserve more than 10, I’ve thrown in a few extra articles!)
#4 Google Cloud
Disclosure: at various times throughout 2020, Microsoft, Google Cloud, SAP, Oracle, IBM, Workday, and ServiceNow were among the many clients of Cloud Wars Media LLC and/or Evans Strategic Communications LLC.
Subscribe to the Cloud Wars Newsletter for in-depth analysis of the major cloud vendors from the perspective of business customers. It’s free, it’s exclusive and it’s great!