Google is probably looking at 2018 with mixed feelings. Despite strong metrics, notable growth rates in the “new businesses” (e.g. Cloud), the company is increasingly under pressure to hold its own against Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple. There were few big beats in 2018, but Google worked consistently on its strategy: securing the core business and expanding new business areas (such as Health) and markets (especially China and India). And it always applies: AI-first.
Google’s Top Topics in 2018
Google’s Top Topics 2018
Source: iq! Management Consulting
Google 2018: Defend the Core Business
Google 2018: Grow the Cloud
Google 2018: Push new Business Areas
Google 2018: Strengthen Emerging Markets
After some relatively unsuccessful attempts, Google re-equipped itself in 2018 to offer its services in China. A big step was to invest 550 Mio. USD in JD.com, a competitor of Alibaba on the Chinese market. The company is reported to be developing on both a censorship-compliant search app and a news app in consultation with the Chinese government.
Another focus of the Internet group is on India. Here, two investments were made. On the one hand in the start-up Sigmoid Labs, which has developed the popular app “Where is my Train”. On the other hand, in a digital commerce company called Fynd. In Indonesia, Google bought a stake in the Uber competitor Go-Jek.
Google 2018: Develop AI competence
Already at the I / O 2017 conference, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in his keynote address: “We’re moving from a mobile-first to AI-first world and we’re rethinking all our products from that perspective.”
Google will continue to implement this strategy in 2018. Google has been applying for most AI patents for many years, ahead of any other major tech company. So also in 2018. Another example is the acquisition of the customer service automation company Onward, which takes care of the development of chatbots.
The market for internet services and supporting hardware is highly competitive. Just a few years ago, Google was for search, Amazon for online trading, Microsoft for software, and Apple for hardware.
However, this has changed rapidly in recent years. Often, all four or at least three of the tech companies compete in the same markets (e.g., speech recognition, AI, cloud, etc.).
Google is trying hard to achieve a good position in those areas that are considered particularly important. Defending the core business in new channels will be extremely relevant. But the expansion of a leading role in new technologies, related products and services is also becoming increasingly important.