According to TechGenix, it is estimated that 78 percent of all small businesses will adopt cloud technologies by the year 2020. This estimation makes sense when you consider the cost savings that small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) find after they move to the cloud. As the popularity of cloud computing with SMBs grows, so does the interest in Amazon Web Services (AWS) as a cloud provider. This is expected as AWS remains the dominant force in the market, even when compared to heavyweights like Microsoft and Google.
If discussions in your organization have centered around cloud-based services, consider these questions to help determine whether your SMB should migrate to AWS.
Is the business expected to grow or scale?
Companies expecting to grow or scale will want servers and virtual appliances that have the ability to grow and scale to meet their needs. Scalability is the core concept of the cloud, and AWS provides a variety of options to help their SMB customers with this need.
Options provided by AWS include:
- Auto-scaling that monitors services and adjusts capacity to meet demand and ensure availability.
- Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) that allows you to match the right instance to the workload.
- Reduced usage when demand drops to control costs.
- Predictive scaling powered by machine learning to help anticipate heavy and light usage.
- Ability to optimize for availability, balance availability and cost, or optimize for cost.
Do I need to have options when costs are concerned?
While scalability draws IT professionals to the cloud, the cost savings are what drive most business leaders to evaluate their options with cloud-based services. For SMBs, AWS provides a number of options to help control costs and anticipate fluctuations.
The most cost-effective model that AWS offers is on-demand pricing, which allows you to name your own price through a bidding system. This service requires both flexibility when it comes to computing time, as well as the understanding that there may be interruptions. For tasks that meet these requirements, you can run your servers at a fraction of the cost compared to other cloud instances.
Reserved instances offer cost savings by committing to a one- or three-year term to reduce prices by 4o or 60 percent, respectively. Tiered pricing and Cost Aware Architecting provide additional cost models for AWS customers as their SMBs grow over time.
Do I need to automate security tasks?
In the security world, automation and orchestration have reigned at the top of everyone’s priority list. Businesses want to reduce the potential for human error in certain tasks and allow their employees to focus on things that better require their attention.
AWS helps automate security through their Security by Design service by:
- Creating forcing functions that cannot be overridden by the users without modification rights.
- Establishing reliable operation of controls.
- Enabling continuous and real-time auditing.
- Taking care of the technical scripting for your governance policy.
By automating these, and other AWS security tasks, you have more control over your environment without having to throw more people into the mix.
While AWS makes cloud-based services for the SMB easier, there is an element of difficulty when it comes to the proper management and planning of your cloud options. Too often, businesses are lured in by the promise of scalability and cost savings without fully understanding what needs to scale or where those savings are found.
To best ensure the success of your cloud-based projects, you may consider working with a managed services provider who brings years of experience and expertise to your team. With their knowledge and know-how at hand, they have the ability to help you migrate the right services to the cloud, at the right price and in a manner that maximizes security offerings.