Alphabet discloses yearly results including YouTube ad money
The results are a tale of two ma...
Google’s parent company Alphabet has released its results for the fourth quarter of 2019, and consequently the year.
The results are a tale of two markers, with profits impressing but revenues disappointing when compared to the expectations of analysts. In 2019 as a whole Google delivered revenues of $162 billion, up 18% on 2018. That compares to the 2018 results which were up 23% on 2017, however.
The relatively secretive Alphabet has also opened up its results to easier scrutiny by the introduction of revenue categories much like Microsoft’s business areas, as Ruth Porat, Chief Financial Officer of Alphabet and Google explained in a press release: “To provide further insight into our business and the opportunities ahead, we’re now disclosing our revenue on a more granular basis, including for Search, YouTube ads and Cloud.”
Those more granular results revealed that YouTube ad revenues reached $15.1bn for the year, while Google Cloud achieved $8.9bn. Quarterly hardware sales in the busy christmas season were down year on year, however.
In a call with investors, Sundar Pichai, the CEO of both Alphabet and Google after the recent stepping down of founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, spoke of the company’s long-term approach, perhaps to assuage the aforementioned disappointments: “Our thesis has always been to apply [...] deep computer science capabilities across Google and our Other Bets to grow and develop into new areas. The Alphabet structure allows us to have a portfolio of different businesses with different time horizons without trying to stretch a single management team across different areas. We'll continue to take a long-term view, managing the portfolio with the discipline and rigor needed to deliver long-term returns.”
IT Employees Predict 90% Increase in Cloud Security Spending
As companies get back on their feet post-pandemic, they’re going all-in on cloud applications. In a recent report by Devo Technology titled “Beyond Cloud Adoption: How to Embrace the Cloud for Security and Business Benefits”, 81% of the 500 IT and security team members surveyed said that COVID accelerated their cloud timelines. More than half of the top-performing businesses reported gains in visibility. In fact, the cloud now outnumbers on-premise solutions at a 3:1 ratio.
But the benefits are accompanied by significant cybersecurity risks, as cloud infrastructure is more complex than legacy systems. Let’s dive in.
Why Are Cloud Platforms Taking Over?
According to Forrester, the public cloud infrastructure market could grow 28% over the next year, up to US$113.1bn. Companies shifting to remote work and decentralised workplaces find it easy to store and access information, especially as networks start to share more and more supply chain and enterprise information—think risk mitigation platforms and ESG ratings.
Here’s the catch: when you shift to the cloud, you choose a more complex system, which often requires cloud-native platforms for network security. In other words, you can’t stop halfway. ‘Only cloud-native platforms can keep up with [the cloud’s] speed and complexity” and ultimately increase visibility and control’, said Douglas Murray, CEO at cloud security provider Valtix.
Here’s a quick list of the top cloud security companies, as ranked by Software Testing Help:
What are the Security Issues?
Here’s the bad news. According to Accenture, less than 40% of companies have achieved the full value they expected on their cloud investments. All-in greater complexity has forced companies to spend more to hire skilled tech workers, analyse security data, and manage new cybersecurity threats.
The two main issues are (1) a lack of familiarity with cloud systems and (2) challenges with shifting legacy security systems to new platforms. Out of the 500 IT employees from Devo Technology’s cloud report, for example, 80% said they’d sorted 40% more security data, suffered from a lack of cloud security training, and experienced a 60% increase in cybersecurity threats.
How Will Companies React?
They certainly won’t stop investing in cloud platforms. Out of the 500 enterprise-level companies that Devo Technology talked to throughout North America and Western Europe, 90% anticipated a jump in cloud security spending in 2021. They’ll throw money at automating security processes and investing in security upskilling programmes.
After all, company executives will find it incredibly difficult to stick with legacy systems when some cloud-centred companies have found success. Since moving from Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) offerings to the cloud, Accenture has saved up to 70% on its processes; recently, the company announced that it would invest US$3bn to help its clients ‘realise the cloud’s business value, speed, cost, talent, and innovation benefits’.
The company stated: ‘Security is often seen as the biggest inhibitor to a cloud-first journey—but in reality, it can be its greatest accelerator’.