5 ways you can improve business outcomes with AWS
24 May 2022 • 4 min read
In the right hands, data is an extremely valuable commodity – one that’s increasing in value every year. So it’s no wonder companies up and down the country are embracing cloud technologies to help them harness data effectively, and translate it into actionable insights.
At AND Digital, we can help you implement AWS to make the most of your data and improve business outcomes – from improved efficiency to increased agility. Here are five high-level principles to help guide your successful cloud journey:
1. Don’t run before you can walk
One of the most common pitfalls in cloud adoption is actually enthusiasm. Teams are so excited about the possibilities of the cloud, they just start building – and before you know it, you have an app in the wild. While enthusiasm should be encouraged, it often leads to missed best practices, such as security, governance, scalability and fault tolerance. Overlook these practices, and you’ll eventually face increased costs, slower development cycles and increased security risk.
Before running headlong into the cloud, it’s best to establish several founding principles. This will give your organisation a solid foundation to build on, and help you implement scalable infrastructure to support future growth.
(We’ll go into these founding principles in the following sections.)
If you’re thinking about implementing AWS in your business, get in touch with a member of the AWS team at AND Digital. We’ll help you avoid all the common pitfalls and leverage AWS to drive your business outcomes.
2. Establishing central identity and access management
Granting access to developers and engineers is one of the first tasks in any new cloud setup. A common approach is to start out with one account, and then move to others over time. This often leads to multiple access points in the cloud environment, increasing the risk of security breaches and making maintenance a headache.
Centralising your identity management is key to the success of any cloud adoption. It supports easy management and allows you to grow quickly, without increasing the risk of overheads. AWS provides many out-of-the-box tools to support access management, including Organisations, Control Tower and IAM (Identity and Access Management).
3. Cloudifying organisational policies
Most companies have a set number of IT policies covering a range of topics – from password management to encryption. It’s important to review these policies as part of your cloud implementation to make sure they cover your current and planned actions, and reflect best practices.
One of the great benefits of a cloud platform – and AWS in particular – is that it enables developers and engineers to build resources in new ways. Teams can take on responsibilities that historically sat with traditional data centres and network teams. This brings huge benefits, such as flexible builds and faster deployment, but may mean specialist skill sets are no longer involved in the building process.
To maintain the flexibility and agility that comes with the cloud, but also ensure policies are followed, ‘cloudifying’ organisational policies is essential. Older policies can be lengthy and listless, so creating one-page infographics is a great way to deliver up-to-date, engaging information to teams.
4. Making costs the responsibility of everyone
Leveraging the cloud can unlock financial benefits compared to traditional data centre infrastructure and hosting. However, the cloud can be very costly when implemented incorrectly.
Most cloud platforms – including AWS – have several built-in tools to help you visualise and share ongoing costs, such as Budgets, Cost Explorer and Tagging. These should be set up to give teams visibility of the costs they’re incurring across the organisation.
Previously, cost hasn’t been a consideration of development teams, but putting the onus on them will deliver improved efficiencies and financial outcomes in the long run.
5. Empowering your teams with IAC
Empowering teams has long been part of the DevOps model. But looking specifically at AWS, empowering teams means giving them the tools, ability and trust to build things they wouldn’t usually get the opportunity to within a traditional data centre setup. This freedom enables them to think creatively, perform excellently and deploy quickly – helping you launch innovative features to customers, faster.
This doesn’t mean you should let teams create complex network components. But with Infrastructure as Code (IAC), you can give teams the autonomy to use off-the-shelf IAC models to create common resources. These modules are produced within best practices, allowing teams to collaborate easily, build quickly and focus on their own developments.
If you’re thinking about implementing AWS effectively in your organisation, follow these five principles to improve delivery and optimise outcomes. If you are already using AWS but don’t think you are making the most out of your platforms, join our upcoming cloud masterclass hosted at the AWS head offices on 16 June in London. We’ll be outlining the productivity and efficiency benefits of cloud migration and explaining how you can leverage AWS to future-proof your business in today’s fast-paced environment. Book your free place today!