Shying Away from Using a Potential Competitor as a Cloud Provider

“Will Amazon Kill FedEx” is the inflammatory title of a Bloomberg Businessweek examination of Amazon’s 40-plane (and growing) cargo fleet Prime Air. The strategy for now is simply to enhance current shipping options and provide more scalability for busy times. But for the future, with Amazon, who knows?

“Google Takes on Uber With New Ride-Share Service” is another headline that may overstate the level actual competition that is occurring. For now. But Google and Uber are both leaders in the nascent driverless car space and a rivalry may be brewing between the two companies in other areas as well.

Amazon and Google are not companies that sit still. Each has a history of disrupting markets and each have frequently been described as seeking “world domination.”

With Amazon Web Services far-and-away the leading cloud provider and Google’s cloud platform growing rapidly, this pan-industry aggressiveness should be a concern for every innovative company that fears that they might find themselves in competition with Amazon or Google in their market. Do you want a cloud provider who might become your competitor? That’s a legitimate concern for many companies and is a factor in decisions being made by some major enterprises to steer clear of the leading public cloud providers.

When Dropbox undertook the logistical and technical challenges inherent in leaving AWS to repatriate into company-operated data centers it was largely for economic reasons. With a talented infrastructure team in place, Dropbox had reached a scale that made that economically sensible to leave AWS. But cost containment was not the only reason.

Amazon’s file storage and sharing service Zocalo, rebranded Amazon WorkDocs, is a competitor of Dropbox. Dropbox had concerns over the possible competitive edge inherent in Amazon’s visibility into the Dropbox’s AWS infrastructure.

Dropbox is among the companies that have determined not to do business with a competitor. Others are surely gravitating away from Amazon and Google cloud services for similar reasons.

In the big picture, a few companies moving away or not considering them doesn’t matter terribly to either Amazon or Google, and each company’s cloud services will continue to grow rapidly. But their aggressiveness and competitiveness is an interesting dynamic in some decisions being made about the public cloud by some users.