Amazon Web Services
If you were to explain it simply, what is Amazon Web Services?
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a cloud computing service. We think of it as delivering IT resources on demand, instantaneously, and then making them available on a pay-asyou go basis. In the old world, you had to build data centers, buy servers, and maintain servers. Today, you can access a broad range of IT resources on demand, similar to turning on a light switch.
One of the reasons you’d want your own servers is because of security and privacy. So how does AWS hold up on those two fronts?
Even large companies can’t invest the amount of money and resources into security that we can. One of the customers we have is Capital One, they’re about the eighth largest financial services company in the US. They’re a large customer, and their CIO has publicly stated that he’s more secure on AWS than he is on his own data center.
What do you think has contributed to the trend of businesses moving from their own data centers to cloud services?
In the business world, we’re seeing intensifying competition through globalization, through the increasing removal of barriers to entry into new markets. All of these things are putting pressure on businesses. They need to be able to move fast. Today, with Amazon Web Services, companies can go global in minutes.
Look at a company like iflix, a video-on-demand streaming platform which is expanding across Southeast Asia. Their ability to support markets throughout Asia, Middle East, and Africa is a function of running on AWS, and not to forget — Netflix also runs on AWS!
What’s something a business can do on AWS that they might not be able to achieve on their own?
One thing that’s changing is the ability to understand customers at a level of detail that’s never been possible before. Grab is one of our customers, and one of the things they’re doing is leveraging our analytics platform to understand trends in demand for transportation services, both in real time and in a predictive manner.
So they’re able to say with a high degree of accuracy where there’s going to be high demand for taxis and transportation, based on the large number of inputs that they’re able to analyze using our platform. That allows them to serve customers better, it allows their drivers to be more productive, and to be in the right place at the right time.
So what separates AWS from the rest, like Microsoft Azure and the Google Cloud Platform?
Pretty much every large technology company today is trying to build a replica of what AWS has been doing over the last 11 years. And I think that our first strength is our experience, there are no shortcuts in providing services to millions of customers every month.
The second is that we’re very customer obsessed. More than 95 percent of our roadmap for the new services and the new features that we’re building are driven by our customers. We have a large ecosystem of partners that provide us with very large amount of input to help us decide which services are most important for our customer base. In 2016, we released more than a thousand new services and features, and we continue to innovate at a very fast pace.
“Today, with Amazon Web Services, companies can go global in minutes.”