Why startups should consider AWS Cloud
When growing your startup business, you have a choice between private hosting on your own servers, and using a cloud computing service like Amazon Web Services (AWS).
As cloud computing becomes more affordable and more secure, millions of businesses are shifting to cloud-based operations. Cloud computing is far more scalable than private hosting, giving your company access to unlimited computing power and storage. In comparison to private servers, you pay only for the data usage that you need, enabling your company to grow quickly and efficiently without purchasing additional hardware or hiring additional expertise to support your hosting and technology needs.
Amazon’s AWS is the leading cloud computing service, currently powering more than 33% of the cloud computing market, including giants like Apple, Netflix, and Facebook.
If your startup is considering a cloud computing solution, here are some of the reasons why AWS might be a good fit to help you power your business.
You can try it out for free
Before committing to a long-term AWS Cloud plan, your development team will have the opportunity to gain free, hands-on experience working with the AWS platform and exploring over 100 products using the AWS Free Tier. This will help you understand how the products work in depth, and enable you to set up workflows and processes before making significant financial investments. For example, your development team can use the credit to run an EC2 micro instance for a full month for free, enabling them to understand how the AWS API works with their software. Having an opportunity to trial the tools will allow them to prove their value in advance, and your startup can move up to the premium tiers based on your needs and timeframe.
AWS also offers more than 500 free digital courses to help your development team build their AWS Cloud skills, eliminating the need for costly training when budgets are tight.
Pay for only what you use
In contrast to paying for servers and other hardware to run all of your processes, you can reduce the total cost of ownership by paying for only what you use, and scaling as your business grows. As with utilities like electricity, you pay for only the individual services you use based on total usage, without requiring any long-term contracts or expensive licenses. This is an ideal model for growing startups that may not be able to anticipate their usage needs in advance, though it’s also proven highly effective for enterprise companies as well. GE, for example, was able to migrate 500 applications to the cloud, resulting in a 52 percent reduction in their operating costs.
The pay-as-you-go model enables businesses to remain agile, adapting to your changing business needs on the fly by allowing you to use or discard AWS Cloud services based on your changing business strategy.
High performance and reliability
In a traditional hosting environment, if your server goes down, so does your site or application—which could cost you revenue and cause major disruptions to your business. But with AWS Cloud, your data is stored in multiple locations, and can use autoscaling to launch a new web server, reducing the likelihood of a significant interruption that will bring down your entire site. You can use an AWS app, Chaos Monkey, to test out various scenarios to determine how your cloud environment will be impacted, and proactively make changes to your environment as needed before a critical event occurs.
Traditional hosting providers typically take anywhere up to a few days to provision a server, which means you need to plan long in advance if you’ll need to handle increased demand, or risk your site crashing. With AWS Cloud, you can reduce deployment time to just a few minutes, which makes it easy to handle surprise spikes in traffic or to launch new promotions at the drop of a hat. You can use AWS CodeDeploy, a fully managed deployment service, to automate software deployments to compute services including Amazon EC2, AWS Fargate, AWS Lambda, and your on-premises servers, which eliminates the need for manual operations, which can take much longer and introduce errors into the process.
With an on-premises server, your startup is responsible for building, maintaining, and securing your own applications and their underlying infrastructure, which may be cost-prohibitive for many growing businesses. This can lead to security issues and bugs that take a long time to resolve.
By using AWS Cloud, you’re able to build on a highly secure global infrastructure that offers multiple layers of encryption. You can automate security tasks to reduce the need for manual operations and the opportunity to introduce error, and can enable identity and access controls to ensure that only the people who need access to your data will be able to get to it. In a study of companies that had moved from on-premises to AWS Cloud, they found that companies were able to reduce yearly security events by 43%.
The most features available
The AWS Cloud product list includes over 175 products that your development team can take advantage of, depending on your industry and target use case. Their tools include compute, storage, databases, analytics, networking, mobile, developer and manager tools, IoT, security, and enterprise applications.
That means you’re limited only by your development team’s skills when it comes to AWS Cloud, and can make full use of all the technologies available to you. They can further develop their skills using AWS’ free training videos.
As a startup, you’re likely to see periods of rapid growth, as well as times when it makes sense to pivot quickly. By using a platform like AWS Cloud, you’ll have the capacity to scale infinitely and add new capabilities as you need them. That means that you can focus on optimizing your growth and refining your business strategy without being limited by your technology.