Amazon Web Services – the Journey from IaaS to World Domination
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The chart below shows the launch of AWS services from 2006 to today by category. What initially started as compute and storage on demand (Infrastructure as a Service) has evolved into hundreds of services that are increasingly focused around Big Data, Machine Learning, and enablement of advanced services such as robotics and blockchain. Effectively, AWS continues to offer more and more middleware and services to simplify the development of advanced custom applications. The recent beta launch of AWS Honeycode is perhaps the ultimate evolution of this approach by offering AWS’s first Nocode development environment.
In a sense, AWS was and still is built around tools used by Amazon for its own business. Amazon is a leader in using Big Data, Machine Learning, and Robotics in its own business. For example, Amazon has 1000+ Economists and Data Scientists on staff and runs over 400 Microservices in just the first to second page of its web site for each customer. Amazon is also the most benchmarked company in the world for digital transformation and operational excellence. It certainly makes sense that Amazon would expose some of these capabilities via AWS. It also gives AWS an inherent advantage given that its primary competitors, Microsoft and Google, do not have non-tech businesses.
Beyond the push into advanced services, AWS has added many services to be more tailored to the needs of Enterprise IT organizations. For example, AWS maintained a “Cloud-Only” model for many years but eventually evolved with its Outpost service to support localized AWS installations. This was a natural progression as AWS moved into the mainstream of Enterprise IT and needed to support more customer specific requirements.
We expect AWS to continue to evolve from its original value proposition of “simplifying and accelerating IT” to one of “Enabling Digital Transformation” (e.g. allow customers to become more like Amazon). We believe that this will put AWS deeper and deeper into Enterprise software and ultimately “competing” with companies such as SAP. The competition would not be AWS launching an ERP equivalent to SAP. It would be making it increasingly easy for organizations to develop software customized to their needs or enabling software startups to innovate quickly at a much lower cost.
The chart below shows the full range of AWS Services by area:
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