Google Cloud Exec: Companies Can ‘Turbocharge Business Impact’ by Building Apps Faster

Companies can take advantage of Google Cloud’s latest technologies and tools to build applications at the increasingly fast speeds that customers are looking for today, according to Pali Bhat, the company’s VP of product & design.

The company’s technologies and tools can be used to “turbocharge business impact by building, shipping and operating better code faster,” he said Jan. 23 during a keynote presentation that was part of the company’s Global Digital Conference called “Better Code, Faster. Let’s Solve it.”

CEOs and CIOs that he’s talked to “see developers as the engine of business growth,” he said, also citing a recent study that showed “leaders at top companies cited lack of access to developers as a bigger constraint to business success than even access to capital.”

One “huge area of opportunity,” meanwhile, is “increasing the productivity of our engineering teams,” he said, noting there’s a $300 billion a year opportunity if “we can move faster” across the industry. But he added: “Unfortunately, developers are wasting significant amounts of time on maintaining legacy applications or having to deal with poor code.”

“The answer” to solve the challenge “lies in modernization,” he said. To underscore that, he said the VP of cloud infrastructure and architecture for a large bank he didn’t name indicated that, through modernization, that bank could now do 4-5 major launches in just eight weeks with “clear business value,” compared to the 3-4 months it previously took.

The four main approaches that organizations’ teams have been taking to modernize their legacy applications have been on-premises, virtual machines, containers and serverless solutions, he noted. Although on-premise approaches “offer flexibility,” he said the downside is that “they require you to manage the infrastructure yourself, including security and compliance, which was both cumbersome and error-prone.” There was also a high cost of ownership involved with that solution, he pointed out.

More recently, containers “gave us the ability to adopt cloud-like benefits, such as scalability and velocity, with the flexibility of running workloads either on-premise or in the cloud,” he said. The Kubernetes open-source container orchestration system added “portability,” he noted, explaining that “lets us move workloads seamlessly between these environments.” But it “still requires you to manage the infrastructure,” he said.

Serverless solutions, meanwhile, now offer “even more velocity, while completely offloading all of the infrastructure management to the cloud provider,” he said. And serverless containers offer the “best of both worlds” because of reasons that include the fact that they are fully managed and users can bring their own workloads but only have to pay for what they use.

Google Cloud customers are “using the serverless platform every day to build great apps,” he said, pointing to The New York Times and its crossword puzzles as an example. By transitioning its architecture to a serverless solution, the newspaper’s team “can scale to serve over 300,000 paid subscribers and many, many more free users and they’re able to move much, much faster with the releases and updates, and they’ve accomplished all of this while reducing their infrastructure costs in half,” he said.

About six months ago, Google Cloud launched Knative – a Kubernetes-based platform designed to build, deploy and manage modern serverless workloads, he went on to say. “We’re seeing the same rapid adoption and customer demand that we saw when we launched Kubernetes four years ago,” Bhat said.