Pokemon Go a Case Study in Cloud-driven Business

Silver Lining

Pokemon Go a Case Study in Cloud-driven Business

By Erik Linask, Group Editorial Director  |  August 11, 2016

If you look through not only this issue of Cloud Computing, but other recent issues, and then look at other commentary online, at conferences, from interviews, etc., cloud is no longer a mystery. Rather, it’s become a fundamental part of IT departments worldwide – and it’s changing the way businesses function, both externally and internally.

It started, as so often new technology growth does, based on the basic foundation of cost savings and easy to prove ROI. At the same time, there were doubts about what could and should be migrated to the cloud, for security and compliance reasons, or simply for the sake of operational efficiency.  And so, the next stage of cloud growth saw an uptick in private cloud adoption.

When I spoke with Breakthrough Technology Group CEO and founder Jeff Kaplan a few months ago, he really explained it as a result of business leaders understanding what “the cloud” is and the fact that it’s really become a mainstream technology.

If you don’t believe it, take a look at the massive adoption of the Pokémon Go mobile app, which leverages cloud resources to allow players to hunt fictional Pokémon based on their location. To be honest, the only way to scale the app as massively as developer Niantic has – the app has reportedly been downloaded more than 100 million times from Google’s Play Store in its first month, and while Apple (News - Alert) isn’t saying how many downloads it has seen, it did note that Pokémon Go broke the record for most first-week downloads.

The point is that cloud computing is driving new business models and revenue opportunities for any business with the hunger and the innovative spirit.

In the case of Pokémon Go, the likely cloud resource is Google (News - Alert) Cloud, but Kaplan says that, while there are many reasons to use public cloud – and for the massive scalability it provides, it’s the right choice in this case – for many businesses looking to move workloads to the cloud, private cloud is a more logical alternative.

“Public cloud is growing, but that doesn’t mean every single customer is going to move to the public cloud and that’s what you are seeing now,” he says. “A lot of customers are saying, ‘I understand what cloud is and I understand the differences between the models, and here’s my list of requirements.’”

It’s those specific requirements that are driving growth of private cloud because public cloud providers, in order to maintain scalability, reliability, stability, security and, of course, cost effectiveness, simply can’t be as customizable.

That leads to the third alternative – a hybrid model – where some resources are in a private cloud and others in a public cloud, based on the specific requirements for unique applications, processes, data sets, and business groups.

“There are sets of customers that will not put their production workloads in the public cloud due to requirements around auditability, visibility, reporting, security,” Kaplan explains. “They might do things in the public cloud environment, but not everything; and there are customers that will throw everything up there.”

His point is that, as much growth as cloud computing has seen, this is only the beginning. Companies are going to do public cloud, others are going to do private cloud, but more and more, we’re going to see the growth of hybrid environments, which is where BTG and others, who understand the need for both are going to benefit.

“I don’t buy the whole ‘it's going to be one versus the other’ argument,” he states. “There will be needs for both, the hybrid cloud.”

In fact, you can certainly imagine Niantic leveraging both public and private clouds, considering it is making a small fortune from in-game purchases, and may well be storing that data separately from the rest of its game data as an additional security precaution... at least its players hope it is.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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