Golem Network is a decentralized distributed supercomputer. Hence, it is inherently less efficient than centralized platforms. Some have argued that centralized solutions such as AWS will make golem obsolete if they decide to start providing services related to Golem. This blog will explain why this argument is flawed.
Let me start by explaining the current market status of the Golem Network. The primary service Golem currently provides is blender CGI rendering. Learn more about CGI here. You can also do that on AWS Thinkbox but it is expensive. Thinkbox is primarily geared towards professionals and companies not the average consumers. Golem as a platform is expected to target the entire cloud computing market including professionals and consumers.
Golem's main competitor on the render front is services like Renderstreet and other render farms. Golem is a lot cheaper compared to other render farms but falls behind on UI / UX. This medium article for example, gives a positive outlook at how golem beats render farms: Golem Network vs. Render Farms.
The article I cited above shows that though Golem is not as efficient, it is still competitive. Golem's true strength is its free market principles. In AWS or Google Cloud, the service providers set the price. In Golem, the consumer sets the price. If other service providers decide to lower prices, Golem Network node operators would likely start getting paid lower since consumers will naturally start setting lower prices.
But I doubt Google or AWS can sustainably offer prices lower than Golem because their service costs are higher. Much higher than Golem. Golem node operators manage their own nodes but AWS pays hundreds of employees to manage AWS servers. AWS servers are dedicated for a specific use but many node operates use their main computer to run Golem when they are idle. The only cost node operators need to worry about is electricity bill.
Hence, node operators can afford to provide services at lower prices compared to AWS. Also, some node operators may run nodes at very small profit margins to earn Golem tokens and speculate on its future value. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that Golem can beat AWS in price and is efficient enough to stay competitive.
Since Golem is a decentralized system, it can provide services redundantly 24/7. At the moment, Golem may face some network interruptions due to bugs and other software related flaws. The team is working constantly to fix all software flaws to make sure the Golem client functions accurately.
So far, there hasn't been any unexpected network fault due to software related issues. This decentralized environment ensures redundancy of operation which AWS can't provide. In 2017, AWS had service disruption caused by human error:
We’d like to give you some additional information about the service disruption that occurred in the Northern Virginia (US-EAST-1) Region on the morning of February 28th, 2017. The Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) team was debugging an issue causing the S3 billing system to progress more slowly than expected. At 9:37AM PST, an authorized S3 team member using an established playbook executed a command which was intended to remove a small number of servers for one of the S3 subsystems that is used by the S3 billing process. Unfortunately, one of the inputs to the command was entered incorrectly and a larger set of servers was removed than intended. Source
Such scenario is not possible in Golem. Decentralization compromises efficiency for sure but it comes with the added benefit of strong redundancy.