Biggest Threat to G-Cloud is Amazon

posted 05-05-16

Kate has a fireside chat with Stuart Lauchlan at Think Cloud for Digital Government 2016.

Stuart: She made the point that nowadays we have Oracle, Salesforce, Amazon all part of the DM, all setting up UK data centres so they fit inside the data sovereignty concerns. Do you see a shift there, do you think that the big boys and girls are coming into the playground and taking away the SMEs' lunch

Kate: Yes and no. Personally I don’t see a lot of them as a threat. I think SMEs can still afford the customer - often the price advantage, the sort of innovative edge, particularly when it comes to things like embracing open source software, that’s something that we specialize in; taking commodity tin, open source software get it accredited in a high security environment and provide a hosting platform & we can do that really quite quickly.

So I’m not too worried about the vast majority of them, that said, when it comes to the bottom layer, Amazon is the threat. And I don’t think it’s just a threat to the big suppliers and also to government. The war is starting in the infrastructure as a service space in the private sector. Amazon completely dominates at the moment. And if we want to avoid a situation on 10 years time where we’re basically having to do all this again, because amazon and moving higher up the stack people like Google have become the new oligopoly in effect. The only way we can actually avoid that is by suppliers and the government actually getting together as a community and working around open standards and open source technology so that we can maintain, well avoid that vendor lock in and actually sort of maintain that freedom. The trouble is, it really does need a community, and that’s actually where amazon’s genius lies. What they’ve done that’s so clever is that they have actually created an ecosystem around their APIs of people building and innovating and they assimilate the clever bits of that and build on from there. Even the big companies out there, even the giants out there, you know the Oracle’s & co I don’t think they can stand against that. We really do need to collaborate. And you see people like Microsoft, I mean their move to open source, a lot of their software, I think they understand that same sort of threat.

Kate has written a blog post exploring this topic further which can be found here: ​