Google Cloud Platform – last in the cloud race or unique innovator?

Organisations are continuing to transition to cloud computing following the pandemic, with the cloud world now offering a host of platforms to explore. Three platforms, however, have established themselves as ‘big names’ and are the leading the way in cloud service platforms: Amazon Web Service (AWS), Azure (Microsoft) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Between the three platforms, they collectively harvested 65% of global spend on cloud computing in Q1 2022 and have outgrown their competition rapidly, leaving other platforms to explore very niche areas in cloud platforms.

As tech experts, Lorien follows the cloud platform market closely in order to inform clients and candidates of any crucial news. We believe it is important for those that serve the cloud platform market to understand how different players will influence the direction of demand.

In our newest blog series, we explore each of the above platforms – covering their rise to becoming a well-known platform in the cloud industry, the unique features it offers customers and what I think is next for the platform. We start with Google Cloud Platform, which is third on the league table on cloud platforms and has gained traction quickly despite being a late entrant to the cloud platform world. We have personally seen huge growth in GCP demand over the last year and that’s why we’ve chosen to begin with this platform. If you’re interested in learning more about roles in GCP, please contact me on kaz.yaqub@lorienglobal.com.

The rise of GCP

Google Cloud Platform was first founded in 2006, with an official launch in 2011 – a move that has since secured its place in the three-horse race of cloud services between AWS and Azure. In over a decade of operation, GCP has attracted clients such as Snapchat, Airbnb and Paypal as the cloud has become a fixed cost to many businesses.

GCP has experienced significant growth which has only been emphasised further since the pandemic, with organisations realising how essential the cloud is for business and home working. Alongside pandemic growth, GCP cut its operating loss from $1.4 billion in Q2 2020 to $591 million by Q2 2021 – an impressive feat given its flexible offerings. GCP has continued to grow its revenue by 50% per year and has established itself as a leading player amongst large competitors in the cloud sphere.

When compared to Google’s other offerings, GCP’s expansion is vast, particularly within their workspace. In the first quarter of 2022, GCP had increased its employee headcount by 7,400, with a majority of new workers employed for technical roles. With an ever-increasing income and workplace, it is unsurprising that GCP continues to be on the rise as a leading cloud service provider.

Making a mark

GCP offers a diverse range of services for big data, machine learning, IoT and security and developer tools. There is a regularly updated blog offering insight into any new updates and services offered by GCP, with new announcements weekly – such regular updates are a rarity in the cloud sector.

Additionally, GCP is unique in its approach towards security, with Google Cloud VP and GM Sunil Potti highlighting that “security is an enabler and differentiator for Google Cloud”, a statement which was only solidified by Google’s $500m acquisition of security company Siemplify for security orchestration, automation and response in January 2022. As GCP aims to rise above its third place in the public cloud market, it is trying to establish itself as a prevalent player in the security sector. We have recently seen GCP pledge to invest $10 billion over the next five years in cybersecurity, and they have already made a number of multi-billion-dollar acquisitions in this space, including the Siemplify acquisition and a $5.4 billion deal to acquire global cyber defence leader Mandiant. 

GCP is also making a mark in developer services, with an interest in offering back-end services to customers interested in composing their own Web3 software in order to become the first-choice platform for developers. The minds behind Web3 have created bespoke person-to-person systems that will challenge GCP’s competition, with future plans hinting at the use of NFTs and cryptocurrency. With GCP following hot trends, it is evident they’re keen to carve out their platform as an even bigger name in the cloud services industry.

GCP in the recruitment sphere

GCP strikes me as an excellent halfway point between Azure and AWS, with the consumer paying for what they use. With tools similar to AWS, and easier implementation, it’s clear to see why many businesses choose to use both services hand-in-hand due to their likeness.

From my view of the industry, I feel that GCP may have unfairly suffered in the rankings due to skill shortages in the current labour market when compared to more established technologies. From my experience, many businesses want GCP experience, but not many candidates have experience with it. However, what we are hoping to see is candidates that are aligned with AWS functionality using those transferable skillsets and clients being willing to cross-train them and transfer them to GCP.

As Lorien’s strategy is industry focused, we see these tools in a different light. Our various industry representatives – Richard in healthcare technology, Ben in financial technology, Zara in professional services, Vitash in retail and Oliver in manufacturing and aviation – are all able to utilise the variety of tools GCP offers to customers.

From a candidate’s perspective, GCP can be used to develop and upskill your careers with the opportunity to undertake any of the 765,000 active technical certifications and earn a Google Cloud digital skill badge that candidates can share on their CV and social profiles. Statistics provided by Google show that 82% of people agreed skill badges awarded by Google helped to showcase their growing cloud skills, enabling candidates to capitalise on their GCP skills to secure high-paying roles.

In the remaining six months of 2022, I predict that more finance and banking businesses will lean towards GCP. However, these organisations will still have an AWS or Azure solution to maximise their usage. This may also lead to many businesses moving away from AWS and Azure in the year ahead and becoming more GCP focused.

For more insights into the Cloud and DevOps industry, click here. Lorien also has a variety of job opportunities in the sector which are available to view here. If you have any further questions please contact me on kaz.yaqub@lorienglobal.com.

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