Monday, December 5, 2022

Google Cloud Next 2022 – Customers Benefit From Enhanced AI Capabilities

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This time of year is always busy with events, and every year Google Cloud Next, Google’s annual Cloud event, has many exciting announcements. Usually, there are so many announcements that I could write a book on each.

A show highlight for me was the Six Five “On The Road” podcast with my co-host Daniel Newman joined by Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist at Google and one of the co-inventors of the internet. This conversation revolves around the journey from the creation of the internet to the development of the cloud. Just such an honor and privilege!

I want to cover some of the announcements that stuck out to me, particularly regarding Google’s continued investment in its customers and partners. Let’s dive in.

Open data ecosystem

The digital transformation of businesses has turned data into digital gold, creating new business value in the cloud. Often, the biggest hurdle is data since it resides in multiple formats within a cloud or hybrid cloud system.

Along with Google’s continued support of more than 40 data platform partners offering validated integrations through its Google Cloud Read-Big Query initiative, Google has announced its ability to analyze unstructured and streaming data in BigQuery. To put this into perspective, Google reports that up to 90% of all data from an organization is unstructured data.

Google’s BigLake now supports all major data formats, including Apache Iceberg, and Linux Foundation Delta Lake, with APachi Hudi on the horizon. Google also announced a new integrated experience in BigQuery for Apache Spark that integrates SQL pipelines into BigQuery procedures. While unifying data becomes increasingly complex, Google makes it easier for organizations to access data.

Google has launched Vertex AI Vision, an extension of Vertex AI that helps data practitioners visualize data better. Google says it helps organizations build and deploy computer vision applications to understand and utilize data. I am curious to see Vertex AI built out in the cloud. As the number of IoT devices increases, I am interested to see what capabilities Vertex AI Vision has on IoT devices with cameras or even sensors for increasing the productivity and efficiency of a company through IoT insights.

I was also very impressed with Translation Hub, a drag and drop tool to translate end deliverables. For instance, I could drop a PDFd research paper into Translation Hub, choose which languages I want, and out pops 24 different white papers, each translated.

When an organization looks at its data and builds out the data ecosystem of applications and tools, the quickest and most efficient path toward business value must be top of mind. Google’s ability to make data more accessible and make it easier for the organization to turn data into insights is why many growing businesses have chosen Google Cloud. Eight hundred software companies choose to build products on Google’s Data Cloud.

Software Delivery Shield

The supply chain is one of the most challenging roads to navigate in this volatile economy. It is no secret that current events, especially within the last half-decade, have increasingly made it more difficult to predict and manage a supply chain. On top of this difficulty, an organization’s supply chain infrastructure and software delivery pipeline are vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

Google announced Software Delivery Shield, which fully manages software supply chain security and offers modular capabilities for building secure cloud applications. What I like about the Software shield is that it is modular and proactive. It is modular for developers to access safe, fast, and customizable development environments. Google has proactively targeted security pain points within a supply chain. Google says it has built-in security measures such as VPC Service Controls, no local source code storage, private ingress/egress, forced image updates, and IAM access policies.

I also want to point out that Google has been working with the developer community, the public sector, and its partners to address these cybersecurity issues within the supply chain. It is part of Google’s $10 billion commitment to advancing cybersecurity and has been working to establish industry-wide standards and frameworks for keeping supply chains secure. I believe Google has put much work into its end-to-end Software Delivery Shield with intentionality by listening to those affected by cyber-attacks.

Chronicle Security Operations

Google is also addressing cybersecurity threats concerning digital trends like hybrid work. Hybrid and remote work has made it more difficult for companies to manage and address security threats with assets not connected to a controlled and secure network.

Google announced Chronicle Security Operations, combining Chronicle’s security information and event management (SIEM) tech with its security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) solutions from Google’s recent Siemplify acquisition.

The challenge with addressing remote and hybrid work cyber security is that boundaries are blurred when home environments become work environments. I believe Google is addressing the challenge by keeping within the limits of the cloud and approaching hybrid and remote work from a reactive standpoint. The best approach to proactive cybersecurity is a quick and executable reactive approach. I believe Chronicle Security Operations is equipped with the right tools to quickly and intelligently address cybersecurity threats.

Accenture

Google announced that it is expanding its partnership with Accenture. Accenture is a consulting firm that offers digital, cloud, and security services. The new partnership investments, according to Google, include:

· Google Cloud Talent Creation: Accenture will expand to 15,000 Google Cloud certifications in application modernization, data analytics and AI, mainframe migration, cybersecurity, and sustainability.

· New Solutions Powered by Google Cloud: Accenture and Google Cloud will also develop solutions and accelerators for specialized industry use cases, such as customer transformation, sales, and marketing optimization, smart analytics, visual inspection, and more.

· New Global Innovation Hubs: Accenture and Google Cloud will invest further in new joint Innovation Hubs in Dublin and other global sites to rapidly iterate, pilot, and deploy innovative solutions on Google Cloud. A joint engineering center of excellence will address specialized technical use cases for data analytics, AI, ML, application modernization, infrastructure, security, and SAP.

· ai.RETAIL optimized for Google Cloud: Accenture’s integrated retail platform, ai.RETAIL is optimized to harness Google Cloud’s Product Discovery and Vertex AI capabilities to help companies improve consumer engagement and conversions and make supply chains more sustainable.

I believe this partnership is beneficial on both ends. For Accenture, this partnership expands the knowledge and skills of its core value proposition within data analytics with one of the world’s most advanced cloud, software, AI, and analytics companies. A reported 15,000 Google Cloud certifications and new join innovation Hubs across the globe.

Google, through Accenture, is expanding its reach across Accenture’s offerings and deepening its influence on cloud industry standards. On top of this, Accenture and Google are working on new solutions that address industry use cases allowing Google to expand its cloud offerings across more customer needs.

Wrapping up

Google has continued to deepen its AI and analytics capabilities by expanding its open data ecosystem. It has included unstructured and streaming data in its BigQuery offering and added support for majors data formats like Apache Iceberg. The company has done quite well on landing with analytics and AI and then expanding into more “pedestrian” workloads like SAP.

Google has tackled cybersecurity challenges within supply chains with Software Delivery Shield and within hybrid and remote working environments with Chronicle Security Operations. Although I would prefer to see cybersecurity for hybrid and remote working environments addressed proactively, I believe Google Cloud addresses cybersecurity within its boundaries quickly and powerfully. While Google doesn’t talk about it, I will. When’s the last time we heard about a breach at Google? I’ll wait.

Google’s strengthened partnership with Accenture is something I see as beneficial for the entire cloud industry. Google much wisdom within the cloud. If the goal is to develop a more innovative cloud industry through new solutions, education, and customer offerings, I believe the partnership enables these goals.

A common theme I saw throughout Google Cloud Next, even in announcements I did not cover, is that Google is investing in technologies that benefit its customers today versus tomorrow. This investment involves intentional partnerships and a focus on addressing the customer’s needs. An open data ecosystem, secure supply chain, secure remote and hybrid work environment, and deepened partnership with Accenture are all investments in Google Cloud customers.

Note: Moor Insights & Strategy co-op Jacob Freyman contributed to this article.

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