Boeing shares cloud ‘mega-deal’ among Big Tech

The news: Aerospace giant Boeing struck a shared deal with the top three cloud providers—Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. The multi-year agreements are part of Boeing’s digital transformation, which entails moving hundreds of applications to the cloud, per Bloomberg.

  • Amazon had reportedly been vying to be Boeing’s single cloud provider pick for a deal that would have amounted to $1 billion over several years, according to Bloomberg.
  • Boeing intends its cloud migration to address quality control issues, which have increased aircraft development costs.
  • “These partnerships will strengthen our ability to test a system—or an aircraft—hundreds of times using digital twin technology before it is deployed,” Boeing Chief Information Officer Susan Doniz said in a LinkedIn post.

Cloud spending accelerates: Boeing’s deal is a sign of the digital times as enterprises go on cloud spending sprees.

  • Globally, businesses spent $21.1 billion on cloud services in Q4 2021, up from $18.6 billion the previous quarter, according to IDC data reported by ZDNet. Spending forecasts show $90 billion being doled out on cloud infrastructure in 2022, for a 21.7% YOY jump.
  • Boeing’s deal follows news of the Pentagon in talks for its multi-cloud Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability project. Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Oracle are in the running for $9 billion in defense contracts.

The three-way race: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud are employing various tactics to further their leads in the cloud. However, Amazon appears to favor an anti-competitive strategy that’s at odds with the more balanced direction the cloud market is heading.

  • Boeing’s multi-cloud approach could help shield it from the full effect of cloud disruptions. It’s a way of bolstering digital resiliency adopted by other companies, like financial services firm BBVA, which relies on Oracle Cloud for marketing and Google Cloud for the rest.
  • Google doubling down on multi-cloud integrations could help make its services more useful to companies like Boeing. It recently joined a Data Cloud Alliance, which helps promote data portability. Additionally, it launched BigLake, a data lake storage engine that provides one multi-cloud data access point.
  • One potential pitfall for multi-cloud environments is increased cybersecurity vulnerabilities—a significant concern for Boeing. However, last month, Microsoft extended its Defender for Cloud security solution so that it now covers Google, AWS, and Azure cloud workloads.