Enterprises Avoid AWS Because It’s Competition: CAPRE’s Boston Data Center Summit 360 Exclusive

BOSTON, MA — CAPRE’s recent Boston & New England Data Center & Cloud Infrastructure Summit kicked off with a bang – a panel discussion titled “Greater Boston Data Center Market 360: What Firms are Actively Developing, Investing, and Why? And What Type of Product (Hyperscale, Colocation, Enterprise, or Edge) is Being Delivered?” And Jim Buratti, Account Executive at Schneider Electric, who moderated the opening panel, started off with a big question.

“Let’s talk about the big guys – the big three, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft,” he suggested, before asking a handful of questions. ”Are those guys going to take over the entire business and leave nothing left for the entire business? Are we only going see the big three and not see any small data center anymore? Look at other industries, like automobiles, or the mobile business – there are always only three or four. And regardless of the answer, are they too big? What’s the impact of their size on the market?” Panelist Gabe Cole, Chief Technologist for Strongbow Consulting Group was happy to elucidate on this broad topic.

“I heard an interesting editorial comment about a week or so ago. It looked at two things – the 2008 downturn and the government’s response to that, and then it looked at the EU and their privacy regulations, and the impact of that,” he shared. “And the conclusion on both fronts was that the actions that were taken made the companies that were bad boys stronger.”

Gabe Cole, Strongbow Consulting

“In the case of the U.S., the banks that caused the problems, although they had to go through a number of tests and scrutiny and other things, they essentially closed the banks behind them and made it impossible for new banks to get licenses and to compete with them moving forward,” recollected Cole. “Very similarly, in the EU, the new privacy regulations have made it almost impossible for new companies to enter the market. You have to have the scale and the resources and be the one that is in there before the doors shut, or you’re not going to have a chance.”

According to Cole, these developments are something the industry should think hard about before decide to regulate the Cloud or other tech verticals. “Because the government doesn’t necessarily have the best approach for the future in mind – they look at the current situation, they respond to that, they put regulations in place, and then they move very slowly,” he explained.

“On the commercial side, the other side, from my clients’ perspective, they try to regulate that themselves,” he then divulged. “I work mainly with Fortune 500 clients and they will not go to a single Cloud provider. They will go to at least two if not more Cloud providers. They don’t put everything in the Cloud. They always want the capability to control workloads, to move workloads between Cloud providers, and they’re working very hard to do that for two reasons.”

First of all, shared Cole, these clients don’t want to be economically tied to one provider, since that could have a negative impact on them. However, more importantly, he then shared that his clients increasingly don’t know who their competitors are.

“If you think about Amazon and their reach in the world, there aren’t too many of my clients, whether they’re financial services or retail, that don’t see Amazon as a competitor in some way,” he gathered. “So I think that there is a self-governing side that’s coming out. I hope it catches up with people’s interest, because I think that if it gets highly regulated, that’s going to have some backlash, similar to what’s happened in these other areas.”

“We saw that in telecom a long time ago too,” Cole recalled, concluding his remarks. “When telecom regulations were written, they weren’t written by the FCC. They were approved by the FCC. But they were written by lawyers at AT&T and MCI. So we just want to be careful about what we ask for sometimes.”

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