While AWS is pounding its chest about its new “Data Sovereignty Pledge,” it looks to me like a clear admission that it’s far behind Google Cloud and Microsoft in actually offering a full set of sovereignty capabilities and is instead defaulting to offering a feel-good promise.
As part of its annual new-product blitz at its huge re:Invent show, AWS framed its “Digital Sovereignty Pledge” as offering “control without compromise.” Okay, terrific — who’s not for control without compromise?
But from there, AWS took the humblebrag approach, claiming that because some customers are saying they’ll have to go with allegedly inferior solutions from AWS competitors in order to meet their sovereignty requirements.
Here’s how AWS described the situation in a blog post by senior vice-president Matt Garman:
“Customers are facing an incredible amount of complexity, and over the last 18 months, many have told us they are concerned that they will have to choose between the full power of AWS and a feature-limited sovereign cloud solution that could hamper their ability to innovate, transform, and grow. We firmly believe that customers shouldn’t have to make this choice.
“This is why today we’re introducing the AWS Digital Sovereignty Pledge—our commitment to offering all AWS customers the most advanced set of sovereignty controls and features available in the cloud.”
So let me see if I have this straight:
- AWS customers are telling AWS that they “will have to choose” sovereign solutions from AWS’s competitors.
- Now why would those customers feel they’re in a position where they “will have to choose” non-AWS stuff? Could it be because AWS doesn’t have comparable or better solutions? Why else would those customers be compelled to “have to choose” to go elsewhere?
- AWS then goes on to lament that those same customers that can’t get what they want and need from AWS must instead settle for “feature-limited sovereign cloud” solutions that just aren’t up to snuff with “the full power of AWS.”
- So what AWS is saying — at least I think this is what they’re saying, because it is certainly not clear — is that while AWS does not have what customers want, its competitors have stuff that is “feature-limited,” which begs the question: If you have nothing to offer, how can the real stuff that someone else has be, by comparison, “feature-limited?” As the philosopher would say, “That dog don’t hunt.”
- Again, if AWS is the full-powered hog on ice that can deliver everything a customer wants and needs, why on Earth would there be customers telling AWS they are “concerned” about having to slum it with inferior stuff from AWS rivals?
- Call me crazy, but as far as I can imagine, the only reason why customers would feel they’re being forced to buy from AWS competitors is that AWS doesn’t have the sovereign solutions those customers require.
So what does AWS do to help customers avoid this looming catastrophe brought about because AWS does not have the sovereign-cloud capabilities those customers are eager to deploy? Did AWS unleash at re:Invent a new family of end-to-end sovereign solutions?
Heck no! Instead, AWS offered the next-best (or seventh-best?) thing: a pledge to start building what customers need!
Check out this excerpt from the pledge, and ask yourself if you’d feel better having (a) this pledge or (b) a full and integrated set of sovereign-cloud solutions from an AWS competitor:
“This is why today we’re introducing the AWS Digital Sovereignty Pledge—our commitment to offering all AWS customers the most advanced set of sovereignty controls and features available in the cloud.
“AWS already offers a range of data protection features, accreditations, and contractual commitments that give customers control over where they locate their data, who can access it, and how it is used.”
And here comes the really good part: “We pledge to expand on these capabilities to allow customers around the world to meet their digital sovereignty requirements without compromising on the capabilities, performance, innovation, and scale of the AWS Cloud.”
Get it? So if you’re an AWS customer with high-urgency sovereignty challenges to meet, just sit tight and do nothing until AWS catches up with Google Cloud and Microsoft. And in a month or two, if your CEO or board of directors wants to skin you alive because no progress has been made on this incredibly urgent and strategic issues, tell them to take a couple of chill-pills because you’ve got something even better than an integrated set of digital-sovereignty solutions: You’ve got a pledge from AWS that they’ll create new products sometime in the future!
What could go wrong??
Hey, AWS is a terrific company doing great things for its customers. But whoever dreamed up this “pledge” scam should be given the chance to pursue new career opportunities, and any executive who approved the plan should be afforded the same chance.
Because customers deserve better than this type of humblebrag, double-talk nonsense that has been put out exclusively to serve the interests of AWS while doing no good and likely doing some harm to customers.
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