Cloud connected to various devices with post title.

Cloud Computing 101: Amazon Web Services Development

Many companies, organizations, and government agencies are looking at new ways to save money while boosting productivity and harnessing innovation. Cloud computing creates the savings and environment to effectively run apps, data, and processes for any industry or agency. Working with AWS and AWS certified professionals can make your migration seamless and save on time and budget.

Cloud Computing is?

Cloud computing is simple. In cloud computing, you move your apps, processes, data, storage, and other IT related services to an online platform usually run by a third-party provider. Cloud computing allows on-demand and scalable solution that keeps your IT budget in mind with a pay-as-you-go model. 

Cloud computing allows your IT department flexibility. You can choose to run most aspects of your processes, like with IaaS, or you can use a subscription cloud-based software suite like with the SaaS model. Cloud computing can take the heavy burdens off your IT department so you can allocate those sources to more essential tasks and projects. 

There are several ways to utilize the cloud’s infrastructure for your business. Based on budget, computing needs, and IT department capabilities, determine the right infrastructure for your company from the public, private, or hybrid cloud approach. 

Third-party providers, like AWS, host public and private cloud servers on global data center networks. AWS’s data centers are located across the globe to ensure connectivity and availability to data and apps when you need them.

Public Cloud

Public clouds are accessible by multiple clients and often called multi-tenancy. The public cloud is the most common method for cloud deployment.  

Image with benefits of various cloud platforms.

Private Cloud

A private cloud’s design is for one dedicated client. Private clouds are either on-site and maintained by the organization or provided by a third party. 

Hybrid Cloud 

A hybrid cloud is a combination of public and private. Healthcare and insurance are great examples of industries benefiting from a hybrid cloud approach. Hybrid cloud provides accessibility with higher security and privacy to meet compliance. 

AWS provides an on-premises server rack to build a hybrid cloud for your company. AWS’s physical server acts as a regional data center for your organization and is one avenue to consider when looking at hybrid cloud solutions.

Why Cloud Computing?

Benefits of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing provides many benefits to companies, organizations, and agencies. There are several critical benefits below that come with cloud migration. 

Cloud Computing is Available: 

Cloud computing is highly available. Business is global, and you need access now. The cloud lets you access vital data and apps on your smartphone and other connected devices.  Availability allows the shop foreman to access sales and shipment data from the shop floor. Maybe your salesperson needs to e-sign contracts in Japan. The reach of the cloud helps get business done.

Many companies outsource work to freelancers and agencies. Cloud computing’s availability lets your company works with the best specialists anywhere in the world. With instant, real-time access to files and apps, you can implement Q/A faster with remote teams. Collaboration happens simultaneously.

Cloud Computing Can Be More Secure:

Like with any software or server, security is everyone’s responsibility. On the user side, cloud computing provides a platform that allows for the use of various apps to help monitor data flowing from point to point within the organization. One issue with physical on-site servers is security mixed into other tasks in your IT department. With cloud platforms like AWS, security is a priority with teams dedicated to a secure cloud.

AWS provides a suite of security options to help with infrastructure security concerns. Platforms like AWS provide round-the-clock security protection of their platform. Compliance is a priority with cloud platforms like AWS. Agencies like the Department of Defense and organizations like NASDAQ rely on AWS to provide secure and compliant platforms.  

AWS and other cloud providers change the way you have to look at security. With traditional physical servers, issues with social engineering and other location-based vulnerabilities were what you would prepare for. While social engineering and other vulnerabilities are eliminated, new issues arise. 

AWS can provide a service called GuardDuty. GuardDuty provides continual monitoring, threat detection, and security automation that’s quickly and easily scale for enterprise clients.  

Cloud Computing Can Help to Save on Cost:

The cloud’s pay structure is known as “utility computing,” which means you pay for what you use. With physical servers, you need to guess and estimate how much storage you’ll need and the computing power. Cloud allows your organization to scale up or down as needed.

Many times, technology may be a barrier to entry for startups with minimal budgets, causing rounds of funding and debt through loans and investors. The utility computing method provides the same benefits of affordability and flexibility for both enterprises and startups.  With new business models paying for what is needed can help scale and keep your team working on critical elements of your business.

Working with an AWS partner and AWS certified personnel can help to determine the right and most cost-effective AWS cloud solution for your company. 

Cloud Computing Helps with Disaster Recovery:

No matter how prepared your organization is, there will be disasters that can cost you time and money. With physical servers and if you still use paper, it can be devastating if an incident causes damage or destroys your servers and records storage room. Cloud computing can help mitigate damage and get your organization up and running faster.

The cloud provides a cost-efficient way to mitigate damage and reduce disruption to business processes. Business continuity is a primary goal once safety is assured. Cloud computing’s mobile nature will allow you to set up temporary workspaces or allow remote work with fast and easy access to your organization’s data and software. 

AWS has disaster recovery solutions. CloudEndure is an AWS service that provides migration services from other cloud providers or physical servers. CloudEndure works at the operating system level with proprietary technology to keep your data and business continuity. CloudEndure replicates your organization’s data in real-time and synchronizes it in staging areas. The technology allows AWS CloudEndure to work on physical servers and enterprise apps like Salesforce.

Cloud Computing Helps Increase Collaboration:

The globalization of industries is creating a larger virtual workspace for our expanding workforce. Team members and departments benefit from cloud computing by assisting in collaboration efforts. With data and SaaS apps accessible online with various devices, collaboration seems like teams are in the same meeting room. 

Cloud Computing Helps with Sustainability:

Cloud computing helps companies achieve their sustainability goals through several channels. Cloud storage helps eliminate paper in your organization. Through e-documents, you reduce waste through the elimination of recyclables as well as waste through needing a third-party shredding company for compliance purposes. Your organization will also save on energy consumption by eliminating large server rooms, cutting down on the energy to run, and cool these rooms.

Amazon’s AWS services aim to maintain a sustainable and environmentally friendly business model. AWS is committed to using renewable energy sources and utilizes wind and solar farms to help reduce their carbon footprint.

Industry and Agency Uses

What Can be Done with Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is changing how we do business on a macro level.

Enterprise Solutions

Cloud computing through a service like AWS can help your organization become more efficient and agile. Enterprise can benefit in several key ways when migrating to the cloud. Increased department collaboration, global expansion, faster innovation through enhanced analytics, and compliance and security are just a few of these benefits.

Cloud computing connects people in your organization. Eliminating legacy channels for communications and departmental collaboration saves time and money. SaaS applications and documentation stored in the cloud help make communications real-time. Collaboration becomes global with documents and data, creating a virtual office from location to location.

IT departments can be overwhelmed with tasks. Migrating enterprise resources to the cloud can help reduce time-consuming tasks, which frees up IT for functions to help with company innovations. With increased customer and market data through a company like AWS’s machine learning and AI algorithms, you can quickly develop, test, and deploy new and innovative technologies to increase revenue. 

Compliance and security are on the minds of every CIO and CTO. Healthcare, financial, pharmaceutical, and a range of other industries can be highly regulated, and with the news of data breaches regularly a way to comply, detect, prevent, and secure data and apps are vital to a company’s success. Cloud computing provides the security and compliance regulations you need.

Internet of Things (IoT)

Connected devices are replacing our current devices and gadgets. Every industry is moving towards a connected workplace, from manufacturing to hospitals and retail. AI will bring a new era of manufacturing IoT with Industry 4.0. With these innovations and devices, the computing and storage power needed may not be within reach for many companies. Cloud computing provides the required power to modernize your business.

Companies like AWS are implementing fog computing to assist in the increasing demand for IoT processes and data. Fog computing creates a network of centers closer to the point of origin, reducing bandwidth use and increasing speed and computing power. A hybrid approach is helping to secure and maximize efficiency with data being stored in a centralized cloud center while AI and data analysis and processing are happening at edge centers.

Machine Learning

We create or use apps for business and agency functions daily. Our technology is growing at the fastest pace ever. Many companies are creating SaaS applications for their companies, clients, and the market. 

Many of the apps we create for business and consumer use are built to solve a problem. We’re moving beyond the Python and JavaScript calculators and need something that collects, analyzes, and gives us a solution quickly. The big players in cloud computing implement advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence to help with these problems. 

ML and AI have become a vital part of the business landscape. Data conversion into sales and marketing information creates new markets and revenue streams. Chatbots for customer service. The latest GPS mapping for auto and defense. The cloud’s virtually unlimited platform powers these efficiently and at cost savings.

Predictive Analytics for Business

Cloud providers use advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence to collect and analyze data. Knowing trends and how customer’s habits move and change is vital to sales and revenue. Using predictive analytics can put you a step ahead of the market. With advanced predictive analytics, innovation can be a priority.

Many cloud providers, such as AWS, provide an array of data collection, analytics, storage, and visualization tools to help with every aspect of your organization. Pre-existing AI models and apps can easily integrate with providers like AWS through APIs to make your transition to cloud storage seamless.

Examples for Industry Cloud Migration

Tech Companies/SaaS

  • 1. SaaS application hosting
  • 2. AI and ML algorithms for apps
  • 3. Data collection for customer service

Healthcare

  • 1. Clinical applications (Physicians Portals, Electronic Health Records, Physician Order Apps)
  • 2. Administration processes over multiple locations (Accounting, Supply Chain, Food Services)
  • 3. Patient Management (Billing, Scheduling, Non-Clinical Patient Records Portal)

Financial/Insurance

  • 1. Market Analytics
  • 2. Client Portal APIs
  • 3. AI for Credit Decisions
  • 4. Client Apps (Payment Portals, Financial Calculators)
  • 5. AI for Risk Assessment

Manufacturing

  • 1. ERP/MRP SaaS Applications
  • 2. Supply Chain Management
  • 3. Sales and Marketing – CRM

Pharmaceutical

  • 1. Clinical Trial Collaboration
  • 2. Data Collection and Analysis 
  • 3. Outperform Regulatory Mandates 
  • 4. AI for Research and Development

Cloud Migration

Types of Cloud Computing

Cloud platform model infographic
Cloud models can provide various levels of control over.

Control over how much of the network your organization has depends on what services you decide to manage. You can choose to handle most of the services on the platform down to paying a monthly subscription to use a third-party software app. The amount of control depends on your resources, budget, capabilities, and use case. 

Listed are three of the standard architecture for use on the cloud platform.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

IaaS includes virtualization, storage, network, and servers. IaaS offers companies the most freedom when migrating to cloud computing. It allows companies to develop and manage their servers, storage, applications, and operating system.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

PaaS provides the same managed services os IaaS. PaaS also includes the management of runtime, middleware, and the operating system. PaaS allows a company to develop and deploy apps while only having to manage data and the application. PaaS allows less freedom but works great for companies with specific needs for product development.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

SaaS is the standard service most businesses use from the cloud computing category. SaaS is an end-user software where a third-party provider manages the infrastructure, data, and applications. For a subscription fee, users can use the software and data servers using the internet. SaaS allows a business to use software and only have to worry about business processes. There’s no need for development or management. 

Implementing Cloud Migration

Cloud migration should be broken down, and a clear strategy needs to be in place to ensure all stakeholders are educated and dedicated to moving to the cloud. AWS has a proven track record of improving efficiency and cost reduction during and after migration from on-premises servers.

  • 31% – Average infrastructure cost savings
  • 62% – IT staff productivity boost
  • 94% – Application downtime reduction
  • 300% – More features delivered per year
  • (Short Infographics w/AWS cite)
Chart with various stats for the benefits of cloud migration. Cited from AWS.
Stats from AWS cloud migration post.

Migrating to the Cloud

AWS has a four-stage migration process it recommends when your company is ready to migrate. These three steps are:

  • Assessment
  • Migration
  • Evaluation

1. Assessment

The first step is to assess your current IT environment and readiness for cloud migration. Collecting data on current data storage and app processes will help you build a business case for movement. Discussions of gaps in your organization’s readiness to migrate should be either fixed or mitigated. The next step is developing your migration plan.

You start by creating a portfolio of current apps and determine the right migration strategy for each one. Develop your migration plan for your app portfolio and existing data center. Also, develop a training protocol and your organization’s return on investment metrics to measure the success of moving to the cloud.

2. Migration 

AWS has broken migration strategies into six main categories called the “6 R’s”. Each app should fall into one of the “6 R’s” to move to the cloud as efficient as possible. 

The six migration strategies are:

1. Rehosting (Lift & Shift)

Rehosting involves a complete, unchanged migration of apps to the cloud. Many companies with established legacy systems use this approach. Ease of migration with rehosting is high, and this is one of the most common strategies.

2. Re-Platforming (Lift, Tinker, & Shift)

Re-platforming moves apps to the cloud with minimal changes to the app. This strategy is used to ensure cloud adaptability and optimization for cloud use. IT should continually test and monitor after tweaking your app to ensure its functioning optimally.

3. Repurchasing (Drop & Shop)

Repurchasing in the easiest way to migrate. Repurchasing involves decommissioning the on-premises app and purchasing a similar app from the AWS market place. Repurchasing will usually require a new license agreement to the cloud’s application.

4. Refactoring / Re-Architecting 

Refactoring and re-architecting apps involve breaking the app down to allow for cloud adaptation. Overhauling apps is done to take advantage of cloud-native features with existing apps such as development agility and scalability. Apps can be broken down into individual services and, ultimately microservices.  

5. Retire

Retiring an app is discontinuing it instead of migrating to the cloud. There are several reasons you may choose to stop using an app. It may be cost savings to retiring the app versus migrating. Decommissioning the app is scheduled after moving to the cloud, and eliminating it may be easier than retaining it.

6. Retain

Finally, you may decide to keep the app on existing servers and make no change to it at all. With established companies, you may have apps on legacy operating systems that aren’t compatible with cloud-native technologies. Many industries are required to keep data on-premises due to State or Federal compliance regulations. Another scenario for retaining is there is no business case for migrating.

Conclusion

AWS cloud computing and AWS services provided numerous benefits for any business or agency. From its scalability and utility pay structure. Migration to AWS can be a time and cost-saving move for any organization’s IT department. 

To learn more about AWS Cloud Computing development, email, or call us today at 315-738-6016. We are a software staff augmentation company working with both commercial and government clients. Our specialties include custom software and API development, AWS cloud computing, blockchain, and SaaS development. We work with tech companies, finance and insurance, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, and healthcare companies, helping build software projects with 100% US-based software developers on-demand.