The fact that Amazon, a retail services company, is the leading cloud computing services provider seems head scratching. Frontrunner candidates are computer companies like Google, Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, and Verizon. It is a tribute to Amazon's dominance that the company could quickly take command of cloud computing.
Speculation remains as to how exactly Amazon could stumble into its extensive Web Services business. There are myths about trying to take advantage of their excess storage space, however, it appears that it was an opportunistic move to monetize a proprietary technology. The reason a company like Amazon is so good at what is does is that it problem solves issues to maximize efficiency. This is exactly how Web Services came about. The company sought infrastructure solutions to deal with problems in the app development process. Like any good opportunistic company, Amazon could realize the greater potential of what it had developed. This lightbulb moment is evidenced in an article with Wired.com. Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and CEO said, “Whoa, everybody who wants to build web-scale applications is going to need this.” He was absolutely right.
The article is straightforward when it says that, “would-be competitors snoozed.” Unfortunately for these competitors, they are now left trying to play catch up. This is bad news because if Amazon’s history is any indication, the company is going to go for the throat. Without the upper hand, competitors are scrambling, stressing the benefits of working with multiple cloud providers. This isn’t really an ideal option; however, Amazon’s recent screw up is doing nothing to legitimize this fact.
The main benefit of cloud computing is the minimal cost. Cloud computing is so attractive because companies can maintain premium IT services without the hefty investment that would be needed to provide the same services for itself. Cloud computing helps foster innovation in this way. In the IT and computer-based world that we live, new and growing companies can reduce risk by not having to invest in things like servers and IT professionals. Using multiple providers put all of this in jeopardy in part by negating the bulk discounts that are available from providers.
For Amazon, the solution is simple, they need to legitimize the sole use of their services. The company must quickly assure people that their “fat finger” mistake was a one-time occurrence. Amazon could easily reinforce redundancies within their current system to prevent a shut down like this from happening in the future. The article mentions storing information in multiple regions as a method of backup. This needs to be reinforced and emphasized to the public. It should be easy for Amazon to develop a system where if the services provided from one region go down, another can kick online to fill in until the problem is fixed. By having fail safes like this, Amazon can help ensure that it remains the dominant force in cloud computing.