Google is in the wireless business, Amazon in the semiconductor business, and Akamai in the Cyber Security business. What is the difference between the three? Google and Amazon have ventured outside of their comfort zone, investing into new sectors of technology that have some risk attached to it. On the other hand, Akamai’s venture into cyber security is within their comfort zone, and therefore, not as risky. Risk equals reward, and if Akamai plans to reach and exceed $5B in 2020, it must take on some risk.
It’s a given that Akamai must acquire at least two pure-play cyber security companies this year, the type of startup that offers some sort of ATP feature set that is FireEye like, and possibly even acquire a startup CDN. However, those don’t really count because it’s within the “comfort zone”. Instead, Akamai should venture into a different sector, like cloud compute at the edge. It’s the perfect venture, and beta shouldn’t cost more than a few mil. It’s a natural move that suits their global infrastructure nicely. Akamai can start by offering dedicated high performance bare-metal severs and VMs, in the same fashion as Digital Ocean, and then innovate from there. It’s a no-brainer that Akamai should stay away from shared environments, and focus instead on private dedicated environments, targeting enterprise customers, since that is their core client base.
It would be a perfect add to CDN and Security, where dedicated server infrastructure can be presented as a “hardened and secured solution” fully managed by Akamai. On their quote, it can be as easy as a line item next to WAF. This move would kill two birds with one stone; first there is a chance this can be a tremendous money maker, and second, they take the cloud compute fight to Amazon’s door step. Yes, Amazon is years ahead in the compute space, but Akamai can use its CDN dominance in the enterprise space to capture the low hanging fruit.