Outfits ignoring the cloud are defying gravity

Companies which ignore the cloud are trying to defy gravity, according to AWS’s CEO of Amazon Web Services.

At  the vendor’s online Summit event, Andy Jassy said he understood why some organisations are wary of a cloud move, but that they will be at a competitive disadvantage if they don’t.

“There is still a segment of companies trying to fight gravity and they argue that they can still do the infrastructure less expensively than can be done in the cloud or that they have enough services to allow their organisation to move as quickly as people can in the cloud. We’ve done many thousands of these comparisons over the years and I don’t think I’ve yet seen a company that can move at the cost structure and the pace of changing their customer experience that they can in AWS and in the cloud.”

He said that there were many reasons why people resist the cloud’s fluffy charm. Often it is just because they are proud of the infrastructure they have already built and think ‘if it’s not broke why fix it?’, other times people don’t know what it means for their own job and scope. It’s hard sometimes to make that change.

Amazon was also pretty resistant to change in its early days as an online bookseller – it had to decide to change from its original “owned-inventory” model – buying books from publishers and selling them at low-margins to customers – to the marketplace model which was becoming popular due to the emergence of sites such as eBay.

“We built the whole company where we were wholly invested in this owned-inventory model and we weren’t convinced that third parties could take care of customers the way we could. In weeks-long discussions, we realised that it would provide customers with better pricing and selection and that you can not want something to happen all you want, but you can’t fight gravity. If there’s something that’s really good for customers and businesses it’s going to move that way whether you want it to or not.”