What is the Promise of the Cloud?

Earlier this month in a webinar, sponsored by Google Cloud, Rob Duffy, Cloudreach Service Line Leader, and Jeff Sternberg Technical Director, Applied AI Google Cloud Office of the CTO, shared their thoughts on what it means to deliver on the promise of the cloud. The following is a summary of their insightful conversation. 

Rob opens by exploring how Cloudreach can reach customers in new ways, beyond enabling new technology or saving money on data centers. “What is the promise of the Cloud? What does it mean to deliver on the promise of the cloud?  It’s our purpose and reason for being.” Rob establishes it mission critical to not only focus on the IT nature of cloud, “we approach problems with the question: how can it do more than transform your IT but transform your business?”

Jeff Sternberg, Technical Director, Applied AI Google Cloud Office of the CTO, 4 Pillars of the Promise of the Cloud

“I think about the promise of the cloud in four distinct ways: One, cloud helps accelerate the pace of innovation. cloud not only helps you innovate but it helps you do more innovation faster over time because there are so many options to do innovative things in business, there are over 100 products listed, currently, in Google cloud – not just core tech infrastructure products like computing and storage but also higher-level solutions like databases, analytics and AI that allow you to innovate faster,” notes Jeff, “once I realized you could spin-off machines on demand in the cloud, I was totally hooked.”

“The second point,” Jeff continues, “is that the cloud helps you transform your engineering culture, you mentioned that Cloudreach was born in the cloud … never owned (Cloudreach) a server and I think Google in many ways has a similar engineering culture behind it that has at its core the ability to set up layers of services to enable engineering teams to build products and solutions without having to reinvent the wheel. Google engineers don’t have to think about lower-level infrastructure elements or network engineering.”

“Talent is obviously a consideration in any technology team … without it you cannot accomplish anything in your business. I really think engineers are getting very used to this cloud world … there’s going to be a day, relatively soon, when it’s going to be increasingly difficult to hire engineers that are expected to work in a non-cloud environment.” 

“I would note – as the major outage of Facebook yesterday demonstrated – these things are very complicated, they break. Technology teams that embrace cloud also embrace modern practices like site reliability engineering or SRE, I’d highly recommend the SRE BOOK, at and I think Cloudreach could help enable your SRE practices.” 

“The third thing I would highlight is strategic growth, the promise of cloud is enabling and furthering strategic growth.  Think about what kind of new products, enhancements and services that are only possible through cloud computing.” Jeff continued to explain that expanding into a new region or country is also a form of strategic growth. “There’s likely a cloud data center near …  Google has 28 different regions and many different network edge locations available in over 200 countries in the world.” 

The final point, Jeff cited, is that the Promise of Cloud promotes sustainability. “Data centers use 1-3% of the world’s electricity, which you can imagine -with all of these digital experiences-  it’s only going to scale up,” from pandemic-era technology adoption.  “It’s key to be as efficient as possible in energy consumption, generally cloud data centers are more efficient because of economies of scale.” 

Jeff asks attendees to consider how much greenhouse gas emissions are generated by producing electricity, “Google has been carbon neutral since 2007, renewable energy purchasing since 2017 and on track to use carbon-free energy, around the clock, 24/67 within the decade. I really think sustainability is a key promise of the cloud.”

Aligning Cost and Higher Productivity

“One the great things about using cloud is it allows you to align cost over many different dimensions like sustainability and the environmental impact … the monetary impact and the ability to scale up and down based on the actual utilization or need that you have … also organizational cost, cloud allows you to be more productive without worrying about underlying subsystems like staff swapping out drives in data centers or making sure power converters, air conditioning, etc. are woking…it’s all handled by Google,” Rob adds,  “If you start calculating and understanding the cost beyond only IT infrastructure spend cloud becomes very profitable for most businesses … companies that invest the most in cloud services generally have the highest productivity amongst their peers.”

The Cloud Allows You to Fail – Learn Faster 

In the next section Rob continues as he recalls an axiom “the cloud allows you to fail, it makes failure an option…. if you want to try out AI or machine learning you don’t have to build a stack of specialized infrastructure; it’s already there and available. If it’s not working then you can turn it off and try something new, that’s what accelerated this piece of adoption.”

“100 % agreed,” adds Jeff, “I like the phrase “learn fast rather than fail fast, it’s a similar idea, you want to reduce friction and encourage more iteration per unit time … being able to offload infrastructure concerns makes that more possible.” 

“When we talk to customers,” Rob recalls, “we try to ask beyond just how can I do exactly what I am doing now but do it in the cloud … how can we start to  think more strategically and broader …  like data and analytics, the data that you already have but maybe aren’t utilizing … how else can you support customers or enter new markets … then those become really exciting conversations and technology becomes the enabler of those conversations and new business opportunities.”

“Completely agreed, the lift and shift is where a lot of people like to think about it … as a stepping stone but the more interesting, in my experience, and the way to get traction on starting in the cloud, is to think those new experience, new products, spinning up something innovative you couldn’t have possibly done otherwise,“ Jeff concluded. 

“The promise of the cloud … there is so much to do … there is so much opportunity that it can enable … we’re really excited to help customers achieve that promise, Rob said as part one ends. 

In part two of the webinar Ron and Jeff discuss how Cloudreach helps clients achieve the promise of the cloud, pick up on the conversation below! 

As a Google Cloud partner for over a decade, Cloudreach is recognized as Managed Service Partner and has been awarded the Security Partner of the Year for the last three years. The Cloudreach team holds more than 800 cloud certifications with four specific Google specializations in Security, Data Analytics, Infrastructure and Cloud Migration.