Google Cloud's Gearhart: Cloud Prompts Changing Ecosystem of Providers

Only 20 percent of workloads globally are running in the cloud.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

September 11, 2019

2 Min Read
Carolee Gearhart Keynote CPE 2019

(Pictured above: Google Cloud’s Carolee Gearhart delivers her keynote on Sept. 11 at Channel Partners Evolution.)

CHANNEL PARTNERS EVOLUTION – A massive opportunity awaits partners that can help businesses navigate their complicated cloud journeys, and it requires a different type of ecosystem.

That’s what Carolee Gearhart, Google Cloud‘s vice president of worldwide channel sales, told attendees during her keynote, titled “It Takes an Ecosystem: How Partnerships Can Drive Digital Transformation,” at Channel Partners Evolution in Washington, D.C.

Gearhart, who was honored as one of Channel Partners’ first Top Gun 51 award winners at Channel Partners Evolution, talked about the critical role that partnerships play in driving customer success, as well as the opportunities that digital transformation is creating for an entire ecosystem of cloud-centric businesses.

Roughly 20 percent of workloads globally are running in the cloud, so that’s only a fifth of the way there, Gearhart said.

Cloud is driving business value and creating disruption for businesses, she said. However, the vast majority of businesses remain in the “still will be” phase and that represents opportunity in an untapped market, she said.

So the question is how those customers will navigate that change and unlock the opportunity that cloud holds, Gearhart said.

By 2022, the global public cloud market will grow to more than $330 billion. Also, public cloud services will be essential for 90% of business innovation. At the same time, the sum of the world’s data is expected to swell to more than five times its current size.

“It’s really going to require an ecosystem, which will mean different roles, blends of roles and ways to partner to deliver those services for customers,” Gearhart said.

The traditional ecosystem to assist customers has been more orderly, with the customer in the center and various other components including channel partners, she said. But cloud introduces a “messier, more complex” ecosystem, with ISVs, professional services, SaaS solutions, SIs, technology partners and channel partners, she said.

The challenge is to meet customers where they are and help them navigate their cloud journeys from there, Gearhart said.

“We need to be customer-centric,” she said. “Customers are looking for a variety of solutions in the market.”

The cloud allows for very rapid growth, and not just for customers, Gearhart said. It also provides an opportunity for partners to rethink who you might partner with, and how the lines are blurring for customers, she said.

“If you’re not growing this expertise, the time to start is clearly now,” she said. “The market is accelerating. It’s time to unlock the opportunity in cloud [and] expand value for customers.”


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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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