Target tapped Google Cloud for the migration of three areas of its business, according to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, during the company's Q2 2018 earnings call. The move continues the trend of major retailers opting for competitors of Amazon Web Services (AWS). Other new customers on Google Cloud include Domino's Pizza, SoundCloud and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
All the major cloud providers are "definitely seeing traction" in terms of growth because once a business adopts a cloud, it tends to stay on it "for as long as [it] can," Pichai said. However, in the long run, businesses could face "tremendous cost" if they chose the "wrong architecture" early on.
- Google has worked to increase the maturity of its portfolio in recent years. When Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene came on board, she said the platform lacked some of the needed audit logs, "fine-grained security controls," peer-to-peer networking and compliance, according to an interview with TechCrunch. Now two years later, Greene hopes Google Cloud can get past being the "distant third" to AWS and Azure.
Choosing an initial cloud provider is no small feat for a business and fear of vendor lock-in is becoming pervasive as major vendors, including Google, have gained momentum. Because of this, cloud providers are broadening their partnership ecosystem to accommodate the gaps they are unable to fill.
For example, with the expansion of Google's technology partners since early last year, Google Cloud's go-to-market strategy is already backed by channel partners like Accenture and Deloitte to bolster its competitive edge in the cloud market.
Target started pulling itself off of AWS in August last year because there were "options that would better fit [its] business," a Target spokesperson told Retail Dive.
The retailer is working on innovating its technology and even adopted "Innovation Fridays" dedicated to asking its staff "what should I work on?" A year into the project and Target has implemented things like end-to-end automated functional tests that run continuously in the background, a Java ToeknManager library and a ReactJS talent tool idea.
Target isn't the only retailer getting its cloud from an AWS rival. Walmart chose Microsoft Azure as its primary cloud provider. The mega retailer has long been at odds with e-commerce giant Amazon, AWS' parent company. Walmart has reportedly also gone as far to ask its own partners to opt for other cloud providers over AWS.
But Azure and AWS have their own impressive customer base. Just last week Microsoft announced extended partnerships with GE and Campbell Soup, and a five-year contract with Walmart. AWS still reigns supreme in the cloud in part because of its early adopters.