Developing cost-efficient digital products

Developing digital products in 2018 is so easy, your existing team can do it. Gone are the days when you had to lease expensive data center racks, hire a team of Ops engineers to manage it, pay double for failover redundancy, pay triple to increase capacity, and wait many months to complete it. 

Yes, this is an operating expense, but if you can cut your bill by two thirds, would you do it? After all, you do want to secure steady growth of your products in a most cost-effective and effortless way possible…

Many IT professionals still cling to security risks as the main concern about running their business in the cloud, yet companies that do report massive profits, and those that don’t are being hacked regularly and lose millions of sensitive records due to aging technology infrastructure. Still, the trend towards cloud-based business frameworks is ever increasing. 

 Cloud workload projection by 2020

Cloud workload projection by 2020

Amazon though that too.

Price gouging data-center providers (some call themselves cloud providers) simply cost too much, access to server racks is mostly manual, and hard to manage. Growing Digital services is simply too costly to scale in this legacy model. 

As the ecomm giant grew, it too struggled with scaling of their digital infrastructure to meet the demand. The idea at the time (eighteen years ago) was to become the merchant service provider for business that have not yet embraced (or fully understood) digital commerce. 

So they decided to build set of services that today is called Amazon Web Services (AWS). It was a perfectly wonderful awful idea that made a lot of sense. An idea that became most popular framework of platforms for startups and small businesses. Today AWS is the operating system of the internet for some of the biggest enterprises in the world. 

 Public cloud adoption 2017 vs. 2016

Public cloud adoption 2017 vs. 2016

Speed to market

This is the only thing that matters in business. How fast a team can go from an idea to a minimally-viable-product in user’s hands, how much time it takes, and what’s the cost of doing it.

AWS was build from its core to solve this problem for Amazon in a best way possible. It only helps that Amazon is obsessed with their customers, and when AWS was tested on their own, the same service offer was extended to the rest of the world. At the time, it was likely the world’s first infrastructure-as-a-service offer, still unmatched today. 

In mere hours a single engineer can set up a cluster of servers in many regions of the world, fault-tollerant and replicated, auto-scalable and elastic, for free, just by using free-tier packages available to anyone for many months. Gives you plenty of time to prototype and test your product. 

Cutting cost

All AWS services are built around auto-scaling and elasticity. Not only its scalable on-demand, but cost per unit is remarkably low. This is a must-have today. On top of that AWS Lambda service can trigger services to start and stop on demand, so you never pay for things you don't actually use at preset time.

They really enabled the infrastructure-as-a-utility-bill. 

Risk mitigation

AWS is not (fully) managed but it does provide a layer of security monitoring services for their infrastructure, which protects your private cloud environment against DDoS and SYN floods, as was as known intrusion risks. Your Ops team however gets a very nice dashboard (CloudWatch) to monitor service utilization, alerts and alarms. As AWS is completely software-based infrastructure, your engineers have full access to manage and monitor the private cloud environment remotely. 

Marketplace of services

AWS Marketplace offers just about any flavor of server operating system your business needs enabled by one-click install. If you need more computing power, you simply change the capacity, no need to migrate, reinstall, or upgrade technology. 

In addition, many solution providers offer readily available virtual machines with their products preconfigured. If you need a BI tool or Data Visualization service, there are plenty to choose from via one-click install. AWS also manages billing for third party services, you just pay per minute of use. All securely and seamlessly connected to other components in your private cloud.

Operational efficiency

Possibly the best aspect of AWS is the operational efficiency. 
Everything from continuous delivery (Code Pipeline) to continuous deployment is automated via DevOps framework built into the core of your virtual private cloud. VPC is by default replicated across AWS availability zones, which are clusters of data centers 100 miles apart. 

 AWS global infrastructure

AWS global infrastructure

Ready available ancillary services

To further increase efficiency, ancillary services that otherwise need to be leased or managed by 3rd party, come natively in AWS. Things like notifications services, user access management, business intelligence, machine learning… List is too long to mention. See full list of AWS services

Why frameworks vs platforms

Many business platforms are by definition massive monoliths. AWS is a framework of single-purpose micro-services interconnected via APIs and secured via IAM roles. You can easily swap one for the other without affecting the entire infrastructure. 

Combined with carefully planed DevOps process, a business can deliver updates to consumers daily. No need for massive planning around release cycles, particularly if applications are built using server-less architecture. 

All this gives any organization a most cost-effective and effortless way to meet the customer demands as fast as developers can code.