Google turns focus towards cloud computing services

In January, Urs Hölzle, senior vice president of technical infrastructure and Google Fellow at Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) sent a memo out to his team regarding their direction for the next few months. Hölzle stated that he wants his group to focus less time on Google Search and Gmail in order to spend more of their efforts on building the company’s cloud computing services. This allows businesses and developers to run their own software on top of Google’s infrastructure.

Hölzle asserted, “We will spend the majority of our efforts on this New World. Every developer will want to live in this world…and it’s our job to build it.”

Cloud computingWhile Google offers robust cloud services such as the Google App Engine and Google Compute Engine, it has always fallen behind Amazon in its efforts. This is probably because Google has not made their cloud efforts a priority. However, that seems to be poised for a major change. In fact, Google wants to turn this into a massive business that may even eclipse their huge online advertising services.

Hölzle has firmly declared that the cloud is the future, with the potential to outpace online advertising. According to Forrester Research, by 2020, cloud computing will reach 15% of IT spend or approximately $40 billion. It might also serve a larger market that what Google currently handles.

As it stands, Amazon still the industry leader with their services such as Elastic Compute Cloud and Simple Storage Service. Other competitors include Microsoft with Microsoft Azure and Rackspace with Rackspace Cloud. Although, Hölzle believes that Google’s huge infrastructure might give them a competitive advantage, in the end. It is true that Google has a larger online infrastructure than Amazon or Microsoft. So, it looks like it will be a crowded race to the finish line.