When we first started using AWS for our own needs several years ago, we immediately saw how it could be very beneficial to our smaller clients. These clients had old equipment, sometimes no more than a server in a closet, and if we were lucky, it was on a UPS. They were very adverse to financial “surprises” like server/equipment failures and large capital outlays for new and/or upgraded equipment. Their offices were usually on the smaller side and space was usually at a premium. Large or new equipment simply got in the way and ended up shoved into that closet. This was several years ago, when the “cloud” was still very much a new concept to business owners, and where it required a fair amount of work to convince business owners to make the jump. But the advantages to making the jump were attractive to them:
- Having a small and steady monthly fee for a fully managed technology infrastructure.
- Easy incremental upgrades/downgrades to servers and other infrastructure when business requirements changed for the good or bad.
- Built-in DR and availability that they could never hope to do themselves.
- Additional capabilities like managed remote/VPN access to their resources, increased system security, data lifecycle and archiving, and a thousand other SAAS and IAAS services that even if they were not ready for them now, were just there waiting for when they were.
- And when they were ready for a “big boy” service, having services like Amazon RDS available for what they were spending on a lunch or two in a month made the barriers to growing their businesses insignificant.
- They saw a visible impact on their utility bills.
- And they got back that valuable office space
So, we were moving right along and eventually we received a call from our AWS rep wanting to know who we were and why were we creating all of these (relatively) tiny servers. We explained what we were doing and they got very excited and very much wanted to help because they were having trouble “breaking in” to this segment. Well, that was the beginning of a great relationship with AWS.
Even though our projects have become much larger and more complex, we continue to help small businesses and non-profits make the jump to the cloud. In fact, these projects are often much more “fun”. Our larger and more technically sophisticated clients “expect” the advanced features that AWS brings along with it, our smaller clients are amazed at what they now can do. In some cases making significant improvements on how they conduct business.
So… I decided to write a post this morning after reading the following article. It seemed that i2m and AWS had the same ideas about the tiny enterprise at the same time. I’m glad we could help.