Every company may soon be a cloud company

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In recent years, many companies have come to see the cloud as an important technology platform. There is a clear appeal to replacing your internal data center with IT that is delivered as a service on demand, with payments associated with actual usage rather than fixed costs.

But what if the cloud moves from the platform on which it runs its business to the product itself? How non-tech companies need to adjust if they can deliver much of the value inherent in their business in the form of cloud services rather than packaging them into the types of products and services they traditionally sell. is there?

For companies in the information and telecommunications industry, these questions are more than academic interest. And as more and more companies see data collection, analysis, and transmission as the core of how they create value in their businesses, the scope of affected companies and industries grows. Being able to provide some of this value to your customers as a cloud service presents business opportunities.

This week’s annual re: Invent conference on Amazon Web Services provided a modern glimpse into this cloudy future of business. As the computing backbone of many organizations, AWS is becoming the world’s computer, so annual events are constantly flooded with technical announcements. But it’s this way that these new IT resources are really getting the attention.

Two examples of “cloud as a product” stood out this week. Technology affects not only operational flexibility and cost, but also the nature of the service itself and the way it is delivered.

One example is how Goldman Sachs is now exposing more internal data and technology to investment clients. NS Co-branded service Introduced this week is a financial cloud for data using Goldman Sachs’ Amazon Web Services. However, the name speaks for itself. It provides investment clients with data and analytics tools to make more sophisticated decisions and shape services that they can sell to.

In this partnership, Goldman will provide a wide range of market data and front-end analysis tools. Amazon performs a back-end data integration that stitches everything together, including allowing data to be ingested from other sources. Investment banks have long preferred to establish themselves as technology companies as well as financial institutions. Ideas like this show new ways to provide investment services and new ways to generate revenue.

A second example of how the cloud is changing both the nature of other services and how they are delivered includes 5G communications. AWS surprised the wireless world this week with the news that it will begin selling private 5G networks directly to businesses. Virtually any company will be able to run their own high-speed wireless network.

One factor behind this is the ability to perform mobile network operations in the cloud. By eliminating the need for wireless carriers to build their own networks, cloud-delivered 5G services lower the barriers to entry for disruptive new entrants. Dish Network, which works with AWS, wants to use it to take advantage of three domestic wireless networks in the United States. Rival mobile services..

Private 5G networks open up new use cases and new business opportunities for technology. If 5G becomes easy and cheap to run for enterprises, it will be a supercharged alternative to today’s enterprise WiFi, extending beyond the limited scope of existing short-haul office networks to provide reliability and capacity. May improve.

Private network services for such companies may be configured and maintained by the customer’s existing IT supplier. Alternatively, the enterprise can completely bypass the intermediary and purchase private 5G directly from Amazon. Thanks to the cloud, services that once had to be purchased from a narrow category of suppliers operating specialized infrastructure, that is, mobile carriers, are becoming more widely available.

The proliferation of such cloud services will allow more companies to consider the nature of their existing businesses and where their competitive advantage lies. When software changed the way businesses run, it became popular to say that every company is now a high-tech company. In the future, it may be replaced by a new refrain. All companies are cloud companies.

richard.waters@ft.com

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