Back in 2014, we wrote a post on why companies are migrating workloads to AWS. That post continues to be one of the most referenced articles by visitors to our web site.
But in computer years, 2014 is practically ancient times! Back then, public clouds were a choice reserved for only the “safest” of workloads.
These days, businesses of all sizes are putting even their most sensitive workloads in the public cloud. So, we decided it was high time we update our list to reflect AWS’s current capabilities.
Without further ado, here are the top 8 reasons companies are moving to AWS, circa 2019!
1/ Data Security. Security didn’t even make the list in 2014 because most people would have thought we were crazy. But in 2019, data security tops our list of reasons. Over the last five years, AWS’s security capabilities have grown substantially. Many organizations are also realizing that a vendor with the bandwidth of AWS is going to be much better at covering the bases than they will with their in-house IT staff.
Pro Tip: Before migrating workloads to AWS, be sure you understand your data security responsibilities. In their Shared Responsibility model, AWS draws a clear distinction between the security of the cloud (their responsibility) and security in the cloud (your responsibility). Read more about the Shared Responsibility model here.
2/ Compliance. Back in 2014, many IT security and compliance professionals resisted the idea of a compliant public cloud. Fast forward to 2019, two-thirds of hospital representatives said they trusted public clouds to keep their data secure. (HIMSS, Cloud Computing Forum) That’s because in addition to increasingly sophisticated security measures, many public cloud platforms offer compliance packages focused on the unique needs of organizations in regulated industries. You can see a complete list of AWS compliance programs here.
Pro Tip: Although AWS can be a compliant environment, it needs to be configured and maintained by IT professionals who understand the platform and the regulations. It’s easy for someone new to AWS to leave resources exposed accidentally. Also read: Is the IT Skills Shortage Jeopardizing Your IT Security and Compliance?
3/ Scalability. This characteristic of the AWS cloud made the list in 2014, and it remains a top reason today. The ability to instantly provision resources in an AWS cloud and spin them down just as quickly not only helps IT organizations respond to opportunities quickly, but it also helps control costs.
4/ Better Budgeting. Another perennial top reason, the ability to turn the investment in data center infrastructure from a capital expense into a predictable, monthly operating expense is highly valued by many-a-CFO.
5/ Cost. Interestingly, cost isn’t cited as often as it once was, but that’s not necessarily because you can’t save money by migrating workloads to the cloud. We believe it’s more a matter of other benefits, such as compliance and data security, taking a higher priority position on the list of top reasons.
Pro Tip: While cost is still a benefit of AWS, we find that many businesses end up paying for more than they need or not taking advantage of discounts available to them. For tips on avoiding that trap, you might want to read: 3 Reasons Organizations Fail to Optimize Cloud Costs.
6/ Lower Latency. Latency made the list in 2014, but back then, the focus was on moving workloads closer to the customer. That’s still valid today, but AWS has also introduced features that decrease latency even more. For example, AWS Direct Connect allows you to directly connect your on-premises or private cloud workloads to an AWS data center, bypassing the public internet.
In addition, AWS Dedicated Hosts allows you to lower latency by provisioning a physical server with EC2 instance capacity fully reserved for your use. This eliminates the “noisy neighbor” issue where a co-tenant on a server unexpectedly gobbles up bandwidth, creating lag problems for you.
7/ Disaster Recovery. A couple particularly active storm seasons and a few man-made disasters have increased the focus on Disaster Recovery Planning. Because AWS instances are so easy to spin up, many organizations are opting to include AWS in their overall plan.
8/ Self-Service Model. Most IT professionals don’t like to give up control. If they’re going to migrate workloads to the cloud, they often prefer one that they can manage themselves. Public cloud providers like AWS are very hands off, unlike a private cloud provider that might focus as much on services as on providing infrastructure.
Pro Tip: Because they have different workloads with different requirements, most businesses use more than one cloud from more than one vendor. If you plan on managing your own environments, consider investing in a cloud management platform (CMP) that can help you maintain visibility and improve cloud governance. Also read: What is a CMP?
Proper Planning is Essential
The destination for your workloads may be AWS, but what’s the fastest, safest way to get them there? Proper migration planning can help you avoid any number of missteps. If you think you might need help, reach out to us to learn more about our Custom Cloud Migration Services.