Cloud computing concept

4 executives who are shaking up the cloud business

Cloud computing has increased the pace of technology innovation, the rate of technology adoption and the volume of data in the world. But how did we get here, and where will we go next?

Here are four people who will help make those decisions. All four have shaped cloud’s present and will likely have a major impact on its future:

In 2015, Google had just 4% of the cloud market share, according to Synergy Research. The company was well behind Amazon Web Services, which had 31% of the market, and trailing both Microsoft Azure and IBM, which each had 9% and 7% of the market, respectively.

But last November, Google hired Diane Greene, formerly the co-founder and CEO of VMware, to serve as the company’s head of cloud computing. Though she hasn’t been there long, Greene has already made an impact while working to shift the perception of Google’s cloud business.

Until now, Google has struggled to make headway with major enterprise clients when it comes to cloud. But in Q1 it managed to secure several major deals, including pacts with both Apple and Spotify—companies that previously relied exclusively on AWS for cloud services.

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In March, Home Depot said it will move some of its data to Google’s cloud as well, while Disney Consumer Products Interactive Media and Coca Cola also said they were coming onboard.

The company also made a slew of announcements at its Cloud Platform Next conference in San Francisco. For example, Google launched new artificial intelligence-based tools and products for its cloud platform. The tools will allow data scientists and developers to build intelligent applications and employ deep learning techniques.

Greene spent time at the conference arguing that Google’s cloud platform is ready to compete with cloud industry leaders. She believes customers will choose Google because of the cloud platform’s value, risk reduction and innovation.

Many attribute Google’s growing success in cloud to Greene, who has extensive experience working with corporate clients—perhaps just what Google needs to take a larger share of the cloud market.

In order to survive in today’s changing tech landscape, Cisco—a company rooted in hardware and one-time purchase sales models—has had to evolve. Over the past several years, Cisco has worked to pivot to cloud infrastructure and other subscription-based business models.

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Nick Earle, senior vice president, Global Cloud, has been leading the charge to the cloud for Cisco. In doing so, Earle has had to walk a fine line between disrupting competitors who already work in the cloud without upsetting longtime, revenue-generating customers.

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