First things first
I'm keeping it brief up top, but do yourself a favor and read these items. And then ponder how it is that the cloud computing space has evolved in such a way in, really, just a few short years. It was only 2012 that Google officially launched Compute Engine, thus kicking off the era of three providers to rule them all, and already cloud providers are publicly feuding with the government over multi-billion-dollar deals while CIOs, apparently, are pulling back from the public cloud.
Rumor has it that the contentious Pentagon cloud contract was tailored for AWS
- 'Everybody immediately knew that it was for Amazon': Has Bezos become more powerful in D.C. than Trump? (Vanity Fair): Beyond the cloud stuff specifically, this is a compelling read into how much influence Amazon appears to be building in the U.S. capitol.
- It’s Amazon’s swamp now (Hacker News): This is the Hacker News discussion of the above story, which tries to suss out how accurate some of the claims really are.
The cloud is insecure now?
Apparently, IT decision-makers really do not think the public cloud is secure. I get the argument that SaaS can be insecure -- you're literally trusting somebody else, as well as their vendors -- with your data, but I'd argue the big cloud providers have been pretty good, if not downright innovative, when it comes to securing their infrastructure and users' machines. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but anyone that isn't adequately securing its data and applications in the cloud probably won't fare too well doing so on-prem either.
But do read for yourself.
- Gartner survey says cloud computing remains top emerging business risk (Gartner): There's not a ton of insight here, but it's supporting evidence for the finding in the survey below.
- Businesses moving from public cloud due to security, says IDC survey (CRN): From the article:
A whopping 80 percent of the 400 IT decision-makers who participated in IDC’s 2018 Cloud and AI Adoption Survey said their organization has migrated either applications or data that were primarily part of a public cloud environment to an on-premises or private cloud solution in the last year.
The top reason for businesses moving away from public cloud was security, according to the IDC report, which surveyed 400 decision-makers who represented small, midmarket and large enterprise organizations.
Qi Lu is now running Y Combinator China
Qi Lu's recent past has been interesting, to say the least. He was a very well-respected executive at Microsof before retiring for personal reasons and joining Baidu as president and COO. Then, just over a year later, he left Baidu. Now, he's heading up startup accelerator Y Combinator's China efforts, as well as YC's research efforts.
I don't know what to make of all the career changes (and, frankly, I'm not in a position to judge). But I will reiterate previous concerns over how willing American tech companies and organizations are to work in China, even as the U.S. government cracks down on Chinese companies and U.S. tech companies take issue with the U.S government over human rights and military applications. Oh, and perhaps you've heard of the battle the two countries are currently/supposedly engaged in over dominance in artificial intelligence.
There's a lot to unpack when you really dive into these issues -- including the obvious distinction between citizens, tech startups and government/leaders -- and China presents a huge financial opportunity, but some open and honest conversations about Silicon Valley's Chinese future would probably clear up a lot of confusion.