- Home Depot uses Google Cloud as its primary cloud provider rather than relying on several vendors.
- The retailer’s 6,000 developers build 80% of its software in-house, a senior VP told Insider.
- Standardizing on Google Cloud has helped it cut cloud costs by 30%, according to the company.
Many companies today use multiple cloud providers for their IT infrastructure, a trend that has grown in popularity over the past few years.
But Home Depot is going against the grain by sticking with a single cloud provider. The $316 billion home-improvement retailer uses Google Cloud to power all of its technology initiatives and started using the cloud several years ago.
Its use of cloud services, combined with a homegrown approach to software, has been key to helping the retailer stay on top of the pandemic-driven home-improvement boom, Fahim Siddiqui, the company’s newly appointed chief information officer, told Insider.
Before being named CIO earlier this week, Siddiqui was senior vice president of IT, a role in which he oversaw software and applications in areas like supply chain and digital sales.
Home Depot’s 6,000 tech workers build any tool that customers or employees use, such as the Home Depot mobile app. The company develops about 80% of that software in-house, while outsourcing some finance, human-resources, and marketing tools from vendors like SAP, Workday, and Salesforce, according to Siddiqui.
While writing software from scratch takes longer, Siddiqui said it helped the company carve out a competitive advantage.
“That allows us to innovate at a faster pace but also deliver business models to our customers, which can’t be done by buying some official piece of software,” he said.
Home Depot’s use of the cloud has been a part of its tech strategy, too. The company began using Google Cloud for its IT infrastructure instead of its own data centers around 2016. At the time, the deal was a major vote of confidence for Google Cloud, which is still playing catch-up with Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure in overall market share.
But when it comes to challenging Amazon’s cloud dominance, both Microsoft and Google have sensed an opening in the
Relying on a single cloud helped slash Home Depot’s cloud costs
For Home Depot, its six-year relationship with Google Cloud has paid dividends, Siddiqui said. As one of Google’s most prominent and earliest cloud customers in retail, the company has managed to lower its own cloud-computing costs and have a direct influence on Google’s product strategy.
It cut its cloud-computing costs 30% by reevaluating which data and applications were a good fit to be hosted in the cloud, and by taking advantage of discounts like Google’s committed-use cloud program, Siddiqui said. It has also helped spearhead how artificial intelligence and machine learning are used among Google’s retail customers.
But Home Depot’s single-cloud approach still puts it in the minority among its peers. In a 2020 Gartner survey, over 75% of companies said they were using more than one cloud provider.
While some have gravitated to using multiple cloud providers for more flexibility and to avoid vendor lock-in, those who use one cloud say they benefit from the cost savings and convenience of relying on a single vendor.
In Home Depot’s case, those savings will be critical as the 44-year-old retailer ramps up its investments in new technologies, all dependent on its use of the cloud. The company is investing heavily in AI and augmented reality as the retail industry continues to undergo rapid change in the digital age.
“Removing friction for our customers is critical,” Siddiqui said. “And bringing and investing in technology proactively to remove that friction is a significant north star for us.”