Kickstarter for AWS: a personal view

One of the most interesting aspects of working here is the diversity of clients and projects that I get involved with - there’s certainly never a dull day at the coal face.  So, with folks setting out their stalls for 2015, and as initiatives and strategies begin to take shape, it seemed like a good opportunity to give a personal perspective on an internal project I was involved in recently.

Our new Kickstarter for AWS is our way of helping businesses take their first steps into the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud, through a structured programme of setup and support.

The initiative was born from a common trend we have witnessed in the past few years of working extensively on digital, enterprise and ecommerce platforms.  Businesses, regardless of size or industry, are harnessing the power of the cloud to drive digital strategy and business transformation, to accommodate new trends and to reach more audiences than ever before.  Taking advantage of these opportunities requires new skills, ways of thinking and methodologies.  Whether you develop these disciplines in house or lean on a partner like ourselves, you simply must augment them within your team.

Whilst developing the initiative with my colleagues, we recognized that education and a curriculum around these skillsets should form a key aspect of the Kickstarter programme to ensure your journey is built on solid foundations:  

Amazon Web Services

  • 101 Training. Overview of the key concepts, components and services that make up the Amazon toolkit.

Disciplines

  • DevOps: Working with your engineers to demonstrate two relevant deployment scenarios. e.g deploying sample application code using templates.
  • FinOps: We will create and setup the billing mechanisms for AWS to include good governance on tagging, sizing and optimisation of spend.
  • SecOps: We will provide a mixture of training and deploy certain best practices as an important first step to protecting and securing your new environment.
  • CorOps: We will provide training and awareness on how to support your environment, specifically thinking about tooling and the impact on operations.

Secondly, we figured that once folks are armed with the knowledge, they then need to be able to immediately harness the motivation and have an environment immediately available to start deploying.  Not just a generic set up, but one which was an extension of your on-premise system with company-specific security, authentication and billing policies in place. With our knowledge, we can perform this setup very quickly and thoroughly, saving you the hassle. The benefit being that when it’s set up once and set up well, you do not need to continually change or retrofit configurations.  Not just this, but we will also dedicate time to work specifically with your team to understand and deploy an application as a proof of concept, we will understand your business strategy and initiatives to provide a roadmap on potential future adoption and we will even stick around post-project for minor support questions.

So you’ve bought into the methodology, but may still be questioning why you should be considering the adoption of Amazon’s digital platforms.  Well, there is no exhaustive set of answers, yet we do feel the following examples are the ones which we feel have made the biggest differences to organizations in how they successfully deliver technology internally and to their customers:  

  • Continuous application deployment: cloud technology is very user-friendly towards automation tools - the ability to rapidly build and shut down new development, test and production environments with a single click is crucial and will transform your development effort.
  • Pay As You Go: Through huge economies of scale, cloud technology generally works out cheaper than traditional infrastructure.  It also doesn’t require huge upfront planning and expenditure.
  • Disposable Infrastructure and Agility & Speed: AWS will allow you to turn off (or pause) infrastructure whenever you want, giving you agility and speed when providing your organisation with exactly the right infrastructure at exactly the right times.
  • Self Service: Most developers and strategists love the ability to quickly experiment and deploy ideas to see if they will be successful.  It enables business and technology leaders to look forward and work on things which will really makes a difference to your organization.

Which leaves the question: digital innovation and cloud technology adoption are inevitable, whatever your area of business, so when will you kickstart your journey with Cloudreach and AWS?