An article on Bloomberg Businessweek entitled “Don’t Let Your Data Sleep With the Enemy” by Sarah McBride caught my eye as I was scanning the news page. The author spoke mainly about Amazon and how its Web Service helps their e-commerce business. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a subsidiary of Amazon.com and offers “a suite of cloud-computing services that make up an on-demand computing platform.” McBride refers to this service as “the enemy” because the companies that use it are only helping to support Amazon.com’s e-commerce business, meaning that they’re helping their competitor. This issue is important because many companies in retail are struggling with the decision to keep buying servers with Amazon services or move their business to a different provider. I find it interesting that these companies are only starting to factor in that Amazon is a direct competitor into what services they want to use for their businesses as well as the fact they are trusting their competitor with their data. It is obviously more difficult to integrate to a different system, so the decision would have to be realistic for the company, but I do not see how choosing a different provider was not at the forefront of any company’s thoughts. As is mentioned in the article, Amazon “just knows how to do it,” but I do think it is important for online retailers to keep track of their competition, and Amazon could further undercut the market with the help of their Web Service. Also, the article briefly mentioned that moving to the cloud would allow companies to handle higher volumes of sales over times such as holidays. Holidays are a time that retailers should take advantage of because it is a time that sales are almost guaranteed. If they do not hold the capacity to handle larger sales volume, they lose out on opportunity, therefore not switching would become an opportunity cost. Once again, pros and cons must be weighed before simply switching, but frankly, the benefits seem to outweigh the risk. Especially because moving a business to the cloud could begin to slow Amazon down as a competitor in e-commerce.
Although, Amazon Web Service is quicker and cheaper than a physical server farm, different cloud providers offer more in the long run and prevents Amazon.com from gaining extra profits and putting the data of a business in the hands of their competitor. Furthermore, there are much more options when it comes to cloud services that are preferable depending on what the company wants from a service rather than stick with AWS. Overall, I think that more and more online retailers will start to take notice of how the gap between Amazon.com and the rest of the e-commerce world will begin to inch farther apart. This will be the encouragement that they need to switch to other cloud providers that are not in direct competition with them and keep their data safe with a larger holding capacity.