AWS Smart Business Blog

How Small and Medium Businesses Can Create Smart Businesses for Today’s Economy

Growing businesses are actively making investments in cloud to progress their business objectives and ambitions, with the majority now accelerating those investments. Although cost benefits and productivity remain important, the need to scale the business in the face of inflationary headwinds tops the list, as does strengthening the relationship with customers, partners, and suppliers—especially in the resource-constrained world we live in.

Data insights and how to make use of those insights will set apart the haves from the have-nots. And then, of course, we continue to see companies looking to mitigate their exposure to cyber incidents through greater resiliency and data security.

Why smart businesses move to the cloud for operational needs

AWS has enabled thousands of customers to help make their businesses smarter when migrating to the cloud, storing data, serving customers, and more. In fact, we’ve observed the two most common reasons why businesses of all sizes turn to the cloud for further growth.

  1. Better business applications. Software applications support the business processes of the organization. Companies need to weigh the decision to develop in-house, continue updating an older app, or prioritize use of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) to keep processes efficient.
  2. Improved customer experience and supply chain needs. Meeting and exceeding customer demand is crucial. But that can be difficult when customer satisfaction is often based on disruptive supply chains.

Underpinning all of this is an increased focus on security. As software priority decisions are made, the transformation or modernization of those applications drives the security to a cloud-first model. This means a complete revisit of older on-premises approaches to security, a move away from hardware appliances to cloud models, and working with integrated software vendors, who have approaches for security in a cloud-centric world.

Man in front of large analytics dashboard

Make data migration less daunting with a cloud partner who understands your needs

From studying thousands of migrations to AWS Cloud solutions, we’ve seen patterns in how companies work with consultants as part of the Amazon Partner Network (APN). First and foremost, our data shows that customers who use a consulting partner get their migrations done 25% faster. This isn’t just due to their participation in change management, but because they bring experience. They simply get customers to the desired business outcomes faster.

The skills gap is the single biggest obstacle to customers innovating at pace. So, it’s no surprise to see that 87% of SMBs seek IT partners for advice. Often, the companies’ IT team has been busy keeping the lights on and has not had the time or resources to invest in upskilling to accommodate the rapidly changing needs of the business.

Another dimension we observe is how IT departments choose not to do some of the work, whether it be infrastructure management, network modernization, or application development. An AWS Partner can be there to offload the undesired work. AWS and its APN consultants bring compliance, control tools, and expertise to your company.

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How customers are scaling their businesses with the cloud

So how does this come to life for our customers? Gourmeat is a meat boutique founded in Uruguay and with US operations in Miami, Florida. They began small but had big aspirations to be a multinational company.

They started off using spreadsheets to manage isolated inventories manually, but it was time-consuming and hampering growth. To modernize their data management process, Gourmeat turned to AWS and Nub8, an AWS Select consulting partner. Within weeks, the company had a new inventory management system hosted on Amazon Lightsail, a simple-to-use virtual private server in the AWS Cloud.

Gourmeat’s integrated cloud-based inventory application reduced time spent on inventory management, maintained reliable and secure data, and enabled key decision makers in the company to have simultaneous data access. With Lightsail, Gourmeat boosted efficiency and productivity by over 90%.

Let’s take a closer look at an exercise business. Echelon Fitness provides state-of-the-art exercise equipment, through which international users have live, on-demand studio quality workouts. What you might not know is that this fitness application was first built on AWS Cloud back in 2017. Yet when Echelon Fitness saw exponential growth in 2020 during the early days of COVID-19, it turned to Onica, an AWS Partner, to optimize its infrastructure. It used elastic scaling—or the ability to use and release IT resources as needed—to support the 1,000% growth needed. As a result, it supported the demand for new customers, reduced costs, improved performance, and provided security for millions of global users.

Final thoughts and next steps

If your team lacks a dedicated IT resource, AWS and its APN experts can help out, whether it’s one business critical workload or multiple. This frees you up you to focus on the skills you want to develop, or other business priorities that need your attention. Together, we can help your company meet its operational goals faster and grow. Learn how we can help your business become a smart business.