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The Top 10 Cloud Wars Stories of 2020

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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?

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!)

#1 Microsoft 

Microsoft Top 10 Customers for Digital Transformation: the Satya Nadella Touch

Hey Larry Ellison: Microsoft’s #1 Priority Is Replacing Oracle Database

Medical Moonshot: How Novartis and Microsoft Are Using AI to Reimagine Medicine

#2 Amazon

Open Letter to AWS CEO Andy Jassy: People Aren’t as Dumb as You Think

Inside Amazon: 3 Reasons AWS Is No Longer Jeff Bezos’s Growth Engine

#3 Salesforce

Salesforce Shocker: Its #1 Revenue Business Is “Platform and Other”

The Magic of Marc Benioff: 10 Key Drivers Behind Salesforce Q2 Surge

The CEO of the Year Is Marc Benioff of Salesforce

#4 Google Cloud

Google Launches New Era in Cloud with AI-Powered Industry Solutions

Hey Microsoft: Google Cloud Is Pushing You Out as SAP’s #1 Cloud Partner

Google Cloud Booms: Thomas Kurian’s Vision for World’s Fastest-Growing Cloud

Google Cloud’s Big Win: the Remarkable 2-Year Journey of CEO Thomas Kurian

#5 SAP

As SAP CEO Flies Solo, 10 Insights into Christian Klein and SAP’s Future

SAP’s Secret Weapon: Month-Old Industry Cloud Already ‘Growth Driver’

Oracle-SAP Showdown: SAP Calls BS on Larry Ellison Claim of Snatching Huge SAP Customer

SAP Thumps Salesforce, Oracle, Adobe in B2B Digital Commerce: IDC

#6 Oracle

Oracle’s Larry Ellison Admits Snowflake Is a Killer: ‘It’s Killing Amazon Redshift’

Larry Ellison Redefines Cloud as Oracle Autonomous Database Surges

Larry Ellison’s Miracle: Oracle Becomes Big-Time Cloud Infrastructure Player

The Audacious Larry Ellison Flips Oracle Cloud Strategy Upside-Down

#7 IBM

IBM’s Secret Weapon Isn’t Red Hat—It’s Much Bigger than That!

Ginni Rometty’s Last Stand: A 5-Point Plan to Reignite IBM’s Growth

Why IBM CEO Arvind Krishna Earned an A+ for His Debut Quarter

An Open Letter to IBM CEO Arvind Krishna: Keep Swinging that Axe!

#8 Workday

Workday Doubles Down on Planning, Analytics and ML to Rip and Replace Legacy IT

Workday’s Beating Oracle and SAP in Fortune 100—Can It Continue?

Workday, Machine Learning, and the Future of Enterprise Applications

What Did Oracle, Salesforce and SAP All Scrap But Workday Just Revived?

#9 ServiceNow

Bill McDermott and ServiceNow Are Disrupting the Software Industry—Hallelujah!

Bill McDermott Unplugged: ServiceNow CEO Riffs on Oracle & SAP, Culture, Grateful Dead

How Bill McDermott & ServiceNow Are Supercharging the Pace of Change

Market-Cap Madness: ServiceNow Jumps to $100 Billion, IBM Slumps to $104 Billion

#10 Adobe

Can Shantanu Narayen and Adobe Replicate Consumer Magic in Enterprise?

Can High-Flying Adobe Go Toe-to-Toe with Salesforce in Enterprise?

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.


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