For companies, the question of moving to the cloud is not just a technology decision, it’s a business decision. While IT will have to manage the choice of services, setup, recovery, and many more details, the CEO is tasked with thinking about the impact of the cloud on the overall organization. Therefore, they need to think about the cloud in terms of strategy, benefits, cost, and the impact on productivity and security.
For many of the enterprises, SMBs, and government organizations making this migration, Amazon Web Services is the cloud provider of choice. As one of the most mature platforms in this space, AWS currently holds the majority share of the public cloud market, according to Synergy Research Group. Today, we’ll look at some of the most important factors that CEOs should know when considering a move to the AWS cloud.
In 2015, Gartner estimated that AWS customers are deploying 10 times more infrastructure on AWS than the next 14 providers combined.
With more than 70 services and a wide range of coverage, there are many reasons to choose AWS. By moving to the AWS cloud, companies are ensuring that they have an optimal server infrastructure that is reliable, secure, and updated on a regular basis. In addition to these important technical details, they are also making sure that they have enough space to scale their business.
High scalability is one of the main features that sets AWS apart from the other services. This means that a company can use more resources when they need them, and will only pay for the resources they are currently using.
While there are plenty of advantages to gain from migrating to the cloud, as CEO, you’ll also want to know about all of the ways that it could impact your business. Here are the seven most important things that every CEO should know before they decide to move to the AWS Cloud.
1. The cloud can fit your business strategy
If you’re looking to expand your business in the global market with services that are available 24/7, it is clear that your business could benefit from having a cloud system.
Supporting traffic on a global level for a large and growing audience requires a robust and reliable infrastructure. Building and maintaining this in-house could be expensive both in the near- and long-term. The cloud offers a reliable system that already operates with global services and an entire squad of specialists that are there to intervene if anything goes down.
By choosing AWS as your cloud provider, companies can build and test the system on a small scale and scale up to more extensive resources once your product or service is launched, or in preparation for seasonal peaks. You will only pay for the resources that you actually use, without incurring upfront costs for resources or capacity that you’re not using.
2. The cloud will reduce both capital and operational expenses
It’s true. The cloud will actually reduce your costs. Here’s how:
- It’s less expensive than creating your own infrastructure. Just imagine how many servers you would need (I’m talking about the actual machines) and the working hours necessary to set them up, and how much time and money would need to be spent on the different security protocols and certificates! With the cloud, you only pay for the resources that you’re using, which will be even fewer during the testing period. Once the party starts, you can use more assets, and pay accordingly.
- The price of cloud services is decreasing. This is especially the case with AWS. As the popularity of cloud systems grows, pricing is reduced to respond to the massive supply and demand. Given this trend, you could easily end up paying less in a year or two than you are paying now.
- You will pay only for the resources you’re using. I know I’ve mentioned this a couple of times, but it is important to emphasize that you will not be charged for the things that you’re not currently using. There is also no need for reserved assets that you would pay for and maybe never use. When you need some extra room, you can use it, no questions asked.
3. The cloud provides a safe, secure system
For companies contemplating a move to the cloud, security is a primary concern. People are always worried that their data will never be as secure as it would be on a machine that they can see with their own eyes.
I have to say it immediately: this is a huge misconception. Do you really think that your office and security setup on a local server is more reliable than the one where hundreds of engineers are working every day to make sure that everything is safe and sound?
Data security is one of the main pillars of the AWS business model. AWS guarantees that the data placed on their servers will be protected. Breaking this promise means that AWS risks their entire business and the enormous trust placed in their service by millions of clients from all over the world.
Data security is something that AWS and all of the primary cloud providers are taking very seriously. Therefore, you can rest assured that you will have a secure and safe system at your disposal.
4. The data will always be yours
One of the most common myths about cloud computing is that you’ll no longer have ownership or control over your data. It’s just not true.
The ownership of your information still remains the same, even after the physical location of the data has changed. In other words, your company will still own the database even when it has physically left the building.
AWS guarantees a high level of data protection and offers powerful tools that allow customers to choose from a variety of storage, access, and security options.
With millions of active customers in enterprise, educational, and governmental institutions (including financial services and healthcare providers) in their customer list, AWS is entrusted with a lot of sensitive information. If they can put their business on AWS, so can you.
5. Only authorized company members will be able to access the data
As with data ownership, people are often worried that they will not be able to control who is accessing their data once they place it in the cloud. This is another concern that has no basis in reality.
The AWS cloud ensures that only authorized members of your team will be able to access your data. As the account owner, you will be able to set separate permissions for each team member and decide what exactly they will be able to do. Such an authorization system allows you to maintain control over costs and allows you to grant access to different areas based on function. For example, you could grant your team of engineers full access to the technical area or enable your accountants to see matters related to payments, without involving them with the other sections.
It’s important to emphasize that only the people specifically empowered by your company will be able to access the information. Even AWS technicians who are resolving a potential issue will need explicit permission from a company to access the database.
6. Your in-house teams will need some AWS skills
To successfully manage your cloud environment—and generate continued business value from your cloud migration—will require a new range of specialized skills for IT.
To be able to work with the AWS cloud, some of your team members will need some additional education. While it’s possible that some of them already have experience with AWS, it is very likely that most of your team will need to learn how to work with the new technology. A company that invests in people is making one of the best investments possible because such employees will also increase the value of the organization itself.
There are a few ways that a team can learn about AWS:
- They can use AWS tutorials and guides and learn from these resources.
- They can use other platforms to find out more about the AWS working process and best practices. I highly recommend Cloud Academy as a platform of your choice.
- They can go through the certification process, which is highly beneficial because it’s a great way to learn and stay up to date with AWS technology.
Educated and skilled teams will be able to manage the applications placed on AWS and improve it whenever necessary. This includes all of the required maintenance, upgrades, and improvements that the app may need.
7. The team will be more productive and focused
Now, when I said that the team would be able to do all of the required maintenance, upgrades, and improvements, I was referring to the regular updates that will increase the quality of the app. They will not have to worry about daily tasks that an internal infrastructure would require (such as servicing the system, taking care of the security issues, making sure that the servers are available all of the time, etc.).
A team that is released from these repetitive daily tasks can be more focused on innovation and customer needs and can be more dedicated to the product and therefore more productive, especially when it comes to resolving any major issues.