October saw Google, Microsoft, and Oracle put on their annual cloud events.
I covered the first two conferences in my Security recap of 2022 Google Next and Microsoft Ignite and the last in my Keynote recap of Oracle CloudWorld 2022.
I don’t have much additional to say about Google Next.
I think there is something a bit dystopian in Satya’s keynote. Check out what he was demonstrating with Microsoft Designer, where they’re looking to leverage AI to eliminate entire swaths of the gig economy - specifically graphics designers, SEO experts, and small business website creators. Or how GitHub Copilot will replace software engineers.
When I started my career, tech support was the on-ramp into IT. A good number of CTOs, VPs of Engineering, and other high-level professionals got their start answering the phones for dial-up problems at Mindspring. Then all that got outsourced, and the narratives shifted to “it’s so hard to break into tech”. These new AI services will once more cut off the talent funnel for higher-level roles.
Oracle World had its own dark thread too. OCI’s strategy isn’t going to be competition with AWS, Azure, and GCP. Instead, they’re going to embrace the Sovereign Cloud market with services like Oracle Dedicated Region and Oracle Alloy. When a tin-horned dictator demands that all the data about their citizens must be stored in-country, maybe it’s to preserve privacy from Silicon Valley. More likely, they just want free access to that data themselves. You don’t need zero-days to install spyware on mobile devices when you control the national cloud provider or can deploy secret police to force the IT engineers to turn over the data at the point of a gun.
Sovereign Cloud might sound like a benevolent EU privacy initiative. Unfortunately, it will become a tool for the likes of Erdoğan, Mohammed bin Salman, Duterte, and Bolsonaro to control dissent, murder journalists, and manipulate elections. We already see this in mainland China where AWS outsources running their cloud services to companies under the control of the communist regime.