Does Google’s cloud pedigree bode well for Stadia?
While the move can certainly be seen as bei...
Another day, another streaming service. Today it’s Google’s turn to launch cloud gaming service Stadia.
While the move can certainly be seen as being of a kind with Apple and Disney’s recent launches, there are a number of key differences. Most obviously, this is a platform for video games instead of movies and TV shows. A $9.99 subscription will entitle the user to some free games, but others must be bought.
Then there’s the question of scale. Google Cloud is undoubtedly one of the kings of cloud computing, alongside Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services, and it is intending to leverage that infrastructure to deliver the altogether more complicated proposition of games compared to video content.
The service’s aim, according to Google, is for games to be instantly available on any screen, without download, thanks to streaming from the cloud. Google says the custom hardware running games on their end will be periodically upgraded to maintain performance, while software-wise it runs open source operating system Linux and graphics API Vulkan. Such an approach sidesteps the necessity of a home console, and removes the inherent limitations of locked-down hardware. The major sticking point will be the strength of the user’s internet connection, however, despite Google’s so-called ‘negative latency’.
Stadia is launching with 22 titles, thanks to a late flurry of announcements. A mix of new and old, with a number of heavy hitters such as Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2 and Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, the only title exclusive to the platform is the relatively small-scale Gylt by Tequila Works. Codemasters’ Grid racing game also features Stadia-exclusive content in the form of multiplayer races with 40 people playing concurrently. Google has also announced the arrival of four more games by the end of the year.
Taking a leaf out of Apple’s book rather than Disney’s, the service is launching in all regions in which it available simultaneously, with non-subscription access coming next year.
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’.