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Amazon Web Services success sheds light on future of the cloud

November 13, 2014

Cloud technology is earning a permanent place in the world of e-commerce, technology and business.

Cloud technology is earning a permanent place in the world of e-commerce, technology and business.

Amazon Web Services is taking cloud to the next level
Andy Jassy, head of Amazon Web Services, said that the cloud is no longer limited to just being a support function, but it is now integral in IT, operations and sales platforms, reported PCWorld.

“The cloud is the new normal,” Jassy commented during an Amazon keynote event in Las Vegas.

Jassy advised that organizations should test the cloud first by using it as a support function, but then slowly integrate it into their systems. Companies, he said, can use the cloud to launch new services and skip having to move existing applications from old data environments to new ones. Many companies, however, are choosing to relocate their entire data centers and IT operations to the cloud, Jassy explained. Especially organizations that have data center leases expiring soon or need to update their hardware, find that it is much easier to move their organizational content to the cloud.

“This is a trend that is accelerating at a very fast rate,” Jassy said, according to the news source.

In 2013, Amazon Web Services won a $600 million government contract to run the services of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. This was a milestone for Amazon and many competitors in the industry took notice, reported the Seattle times.

“A lot of customers would say if it’s secure enough for the CIA, it is probably secure for us too,” Jassy said.

Doug Wolfe, chief information officer of the CIA, indicated that the agency is moving to a classified version of Amazon Web Services that offers approximately 2,000 new services to the CIA’s computer users.

“It’s going to take a few months to get this running … Our goal is that we can bring that innovation over faster than we have in the past,” said Wolfe, according to The Seattle Times.

Intuit endorses Amazon Web Services
As part of the event in Las Vegas, Amazon introduced Tayloe Stansbury, chief technology officer for Intuit, a financial software and services provider. Intuit is currently moving many of its core applications to Amazon Web Services and served as a good example of how a company stands to benefit from the features of the cloud. Intuit has 50 million customers, 8,000 employees and generates approximately $4 billion in annual sales, according to PCWorld.

The experience of Intuit thus far shows that Amazon Web Services is good for business. The company tested Amazon by first choosing a few small apps tools to use online. Satisfied with their findings, the company began to move one of its data centers to the cloud. As a result, Stansbury explained, expenses were reduced by up to six times. Stansbury also said that if Intuit chooses to acquire another company that uses Amazon Web Services, the integration of that company into Intuit would be easy.

Intuit runs eight tools, 26 services and 33 applications on Amazon Web Services, and has plans to move all of its product offerings to the cloud, Stansbury said, according to the news source.

Other examples of companies that rely on Amazon Web Services are Hess energy company, Suncorp bank and Netflix – which signed up early on. 

“Every imaginable business segment is using AWS in a meaningful way,” Jassy said, according to The Seattle Times.

New features being introduced to Amazon Web Services
Jassy unveiled new services coming to Amazon Web Services. Most noteworthy was one called Aurora that intends to compete with traditional enterprise-based relational databases. Currently, the relational database market is dominated by Oracle, IBM and Microsoft, but in early 2015 Amazon may start taking some of that market share.

Other tools currently being rolled out include an encryption application that helps managers protect an organization’s data and a catalog service that will allow administrators to maintain a central portal for employees of a business to access Amazon Web Services’ features.

What can be concluded from the success of Amazon in the business services arena is that cloud computing is here to stay. As the world embraces e-commerce more and consumers shift toward a model where the Internet is used to fulfill purchasing needs, so to are companies going online to enhance the speed and efficiency with which their respective businesses operate.

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