2019: From open source battles to the cloud war
2019 has only just begun – what will the year hold? Ring in the new year with tech predictions from the experts. Today, Sacha Labourey, CEO and founder at CloudBees shares his thoughts on the biggest changes for the technology sector that we will see in 2019.
With 2019 here and new technologies launching into the market at an accelerated rate, new industry shake-ups are on the horizon. The biggest changes for the technology sector will occur in two parts: first, technology, and second, mergers and acquisitions (M&A).
From open source battles to cloud acquisitions, the technology landscape can expect to see the below six trends hit the stage this year:
Part 1: Technology
2019 will increasingly see the areas of open source, open source-based business models and cloud computing collide. It is clear that public cloud providers have benefited from open source more than open source has benefited from public cloud providers – with a lack of a solid business model, innovative open source-based companies have unfortunately been crushed by the waves of disruption. This is not a sustainable equilibrium and while this topic was already quite visible in 2018, it will become a key theme in 2019. And Richard Stallman knew it all along.
Additionally, a new wave of eco-friendly (for instance, non-compute intensive) cryptocurrency will emerge, solving one of the biggest criticisms associated with both cryptocurrencies and contracts.
Finally, Waymo and MobileEye will start making strides with their public self-driving-cars in 2019, while Tesla, who has been selling cars on its visionary full self-driving (FSD) concept, will stagnate; having failed to deliver solid features. Furthermore, the first cars sold as having FSD “pending validation from authorities” are already beginning to see their leases expire – while it is acceptable to sell a vision of what a product can achieve, this vision has to “meet the road” at some point. As such, Tesla will be forced to fight on the defensive and will need to make a bold move in 2019. This may include a variety of aspects: rebuilding bridges with MobileEye, adopting light detection and ranging technologies (LIDARs) in its cars, or acquiring third-party technology and talent to get back on track.
Part 2: M&A
Google Cloud Platforms
As the cloud war is raging, there is, in all likelihood, room for the top three vendors at most: the first two spots have already been secured by Microsoft and AWS. Though Google is fighting to keep its third spot, it has so far been unable to create an enterprise sales motion and culture, despite its great raw technology – this will hinder its growth.
The most obvious way for Google is a DNA-transplant – in other words, it will most likely “acquire” this culture. Google is very much aware of this, and after failing to acquire both GitHub and Red Hat, its options are diminishing by the day.
Google’s latest cloud acquisitions date all the way back to 2016 with Apigee. With the arrival of new Google Cloud executive Thomas Kurian, things will drastically evolve – Kurian comes from a strong enterprise business culture, and carries a culture of M&A, having worked at Oracle for the last few years.
So, how is that different from Diane Greene, an outgoing Google Cloud CEO? While Greene has an amazing enterprise background and culture, she had to rebuild a foundation and put things on a very different track upon her arrival at Google – that, of course, consumed a lot of time and energy.
In contrast, Mr. Kurian arrives with a fresh mindset, and will quickly want to validate his free reigns and corporate backing to make Google Cloud Platform successful. If this does not work for him, however, he may as well learn fast and move on.
Under Kurian, Google will acquire at least five companies in the first nine months of 2019. If they do not, Kurian will leave the company very quickly.
Since Red Hat has been acquired, Pivotal will be the next attractive target, with its strong product offering and cultural assets; two key elements of any digital transformation. In the next 9-24 months, the Dell/EMC/VMware mothership will either sell Pivotal for a hefty amount (potentially to Google) or merge back into VMware. This is a stack war: VMware will want any assets to be directly aligned to its strategy – this is best exemplified by the Heptio deal, which shows they care highly about having a solid end-to-end story. Perhaps all of VMware and Pivotal may even make it into a single Dell ship!
ServiceNow is the leader in all IT management categories (ITSM, ITOM, ITAM) today, focusing on managing ongoing services and operations. However, it does not yet cover DevOps-based software development and delivery, despite announcing a new enterprise DevOps initiative at Knowledge 18 last May. Today, in DevOps environments, ServiceNow is frequently seen as a gate required by the change management process at the end of software delivery, which breaks the very notion of continuous delivery. As such, it will need to inject fresh DevOps DNA and perform a culture shift, which means it will start an acquisition spree – which likely will start early in 2019 to leverage its high valuation.