Cloud computing was a game changer in the world of IT technology, and it didn’t take long for businesses to recognize all its advantages.
AWS quickly positioned itself as the industry leader in cloud services, offering revolutionary solutions. Businesses that implemented these solutions saw impressive benefits - their IT costs were cut down, while their productivity and flexibility increased.
The changes that cloud computing brings are many and shouldn’t be understated. AWS Cloud gives businesses solutions to create a low-cost, high-performing infrastructure. The three main key areas where AWS customers are seeing the greatest impacts are:
Cloud computing has become mainstream and is now driving IT as a service. The latest cloud technology comes with next-level speed, at just a fraction of the cost of the alternatives. This enables businesses to invest in exactly the size and type of resources they need. Before, businesses had to make huge financial hardware investments and allocate time to manage it.
Nowadays information is available 24/7, and everyone can access it wherever they are, on any device. They interact with information in real-time and with accuracy. Cloud gives workers the ability to work from anywhere they want - be it from home or the office. This is something that has become especially important in the post-COVID world. Workers are able to interact with their co-workers, partners, customers, and other subjects quickly and smoothly, and all according to industry standards.
The popularity of social media affects the workplace as well. The great mobility AWS offers factors here too. Workers are free to share all the relevant information for the world to see. That way they drive more engagement, receive more inputs, and are more transparent. It also opens new channels of communication.
Clearly, AWS has many benefits which positively affect your bottom line. Organizations that use AWS solutions report accelerated growth, greater efficiency, and realization of long-term cost reductions. Such businesses are able to manage their applications more efficiently and cost-effectively. Speed also plays a huge role. Businesses are able to quickly access data and deploy, which speeds up the whole process - from decision making to analysis. It’s also important to mention that businesses can implement AWS at their own pace. AWS is flexible and adjusts to each customer's unique workflow: customers can expand or condense the services they use, according to their needs.
However, some of AWS’ greatest benefits aren’t necessarily so easy to quantify. AWS services help organizations free up their resources so they can focus on other things. Of course, saving money by reducing overall hardware costs is amazing, but it’s even better to increase the business’ overall value. It could be said that AWS’ main purpose is to open and exploit the organization’s full potential. Not only does it save costs, but it also enables organizations to fully utilize IT opportunities by offering new services, improving productivity, strengthening their position on the market, better understanding their customers, etc.
Reducing the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is amazing, but it isn’t everything. Focusing on one such limited aspect can skew perception. That’s why AWS Cloud Economics developed the Cloud Value Framework that helps organizations understand the many benefits of moving to and building on AWS. It also helps them measure and track progress against the four dimensions of value:
Total Cost of Ownership is defined as the typical focus organizations have, while the three other pillars are the most compelling cloud benefits.
It is crucial to note that AWS Cloud Economics developed this Framework by working with more than 100 enterprise AWS customers and analyzing over 1.000 public AWS case studies. Therefore, the Framework isn’t some theoretical concept. It is based on real experience and reported data, and thus extremely valuable.
Cost Savings are the infrastructure cost savings/avoidance that businesses get from moving to the could. This reduces the percentage of IT expenses on infrastructure/hardware and thus opens up the budget. This way organizations can reinvest their budget in other areas.
Capacity planning is a pain point for businesses that don’t use the cloud. Accurately predicting the company's technology needs is no easy task and usually, the necessary equipment has to be procured months in advance. Combine that with the fact that organizations pay above peak requirements in case of power outages while not fully utilizing servers during day-to-day operations, and the situation gets even more complicated.
Cloud options avoid the downsides of working with data centers. Cloud systems scale to deliver the performance according to business needs. They allocate fewer resources during periods of low usage and provide more resources when there is more demand. Basically, organizations pay for what they use, there is no waste. That means they can save money in two ways. The first way is by not spending it on typical data center solutions. The second way is by further optimizing their business model. AWS offers tools such as AWS Cost Explorer and AWS Trusted Advisor that further help manage cloud costs.
Staff productivity is the efficiency improvement by function on a task-by-task basis. Productivity increases by reducing or totally eliminating the time spent on specific tasks that are no longer needed once the organization switches to the cloud. Workers don’t have to bother managing IT infrastructure which makes some day-to-day responsibilities unnecessary. Jobs like procuring, setting up, and maintaining physical servers instantly come to mind.
This opens up workers to other activities. They can, for example, deliver solutions with better user experience, or develop and improve applications. The sky becomes the limit. Furthermore, the cloud has other options to help the staff become even more productive, and significantly reduce time-to-market for applications and services. The cloud, among others, includes options like microservices architecture, automated testing, continuous integration/continuous deployment, etc. All of these help businesses provision and de-provision their development and test the environment according to their needs.
The AWS benchmark says that AWS customers are able to manage twice as many virtual machines and also almost twice as many TB of data per staff member compared to organizations that use on-premise IT.
Operational resilience is defined as the benefit of improving SLAs (service level agreements) and reducing unplanned outages. It increases server uptime and gives stronger security. Unfortunately, unplanned outages happen. They can occur due to several different reasons: software glitches, hardware failure, security breaches, or just human error. Whatever the reason may be, an outage can be insanely costly.
AWS helps organizations improve their operational resilience in four key areas:
Briefly explained, AWS infrastructure is highly resilient against all possible threats, and each Availability zone is redundantly connected to multiple Tier 1 network providers. Also, every compute instance is backed by two independent power sources.
When it comes to operations, AWS has tools like AWS CloudFormation and AWS Service Catalog which helps organizations automate error-prone human elements. They can quickly identify and address issues, improve the ability to meet SLAs, simplify operations, and run business systems more smoothly.
Security threats are constantly evolving, but AWS keeps pace with state-of-the-art protection for its global infrastructure. For example, AWS Identity and Access Management tool gives organizations control over access to AWS services and resources. AWS automation and tools that help mitigate security risks. There are also more than 30 certifications and accreditations for building compliance-ready applications, etc.
Tools like AWS CodeDeploy and AWS Code Pipeline help automate the continuous integration/continuous delivery workflow. AWS Managed Services automates activities such as monitoring, patch management, backup services, change requests, etc. All of this reduces the chance of a software issue happening that could cause an outage.
Business agility speeds up the deployment of new applications and new features, reduces the possibility of errors, and thus accelerates time to market. By switching to AWS, businesses are able to move faster. Traditional IT models can be frustratingly slow. With such models, innovating can be a gamble for many organizations. If they want to develop a new solution, they need to carefully allocate resources. By investing additional time and money, the time-to-market goes down. This becomes especially problematic if a failure occurs.
AWS supports an agile approach to IT - developers can instantly provision resources and start their work. Furthermore, they avoid costs because they can instantly end their work on a project when they are no longer needed, or when a failure happens. Not only does this improve the worker experience, but makes the business more productive and innovative.
There are many benefits of having a more agile business - such as expanding to new markets, noticing and realizing opportunities, being competitive, accelerating mergers and acquisitions, etc.
Switching to the cloud gives many benefits to organizations. While reduced Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is usually the first and most tangible benefit businesses notice, there are many others as well. To help businesses understand even more compelling benefits, AWS Cloud Economics calibrated the Cloud Value Framework. In addition to TCO, there is also Staff Productivity, Operational Resilience, and Business Agility. The Framework was developed by using real experiences and data.
Going through the Framework, it is clear that AWS offers its customers many tools and applications that improve many aspects of their everyday workflow and thus make them more successful.
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