Business technology is no longer just a computer, printer, and a few office applications. Technology has become an integral part of running any business in the 21st century. From accounting software to website contact forms to secure storage and emails, companies reply on multiple IT systems daily.
Have you been in a situation where your data storage is on one system, your emails and website on another, and your inter-office messaging on yet other? Adding anything new becomes a hit or miss as to whether it will work fluidly with your current patchwork of technology infrastructure.
It’s a common issue that we see often at Twin State Technical Services when helping companies in the Quad Cities area keep their IT running smoothly and securely. Small businesses tend to add one piece of infrastructure at a time, but often the pieces don’t always integrate well.
One service that we recommend to our clients often is Amazon Web Services. Yes, it’s by the same company that sells just about everything on the planet. And it’s one of the reasons you’ll see intuitive suggestions about what you might like to order next.
Amazon Web Services, aka AWS, acts as a cloud-based platform that you can build all the other pieces of your business IT on top of. They all integrate natively and there are multiple benefits that reduce technology costs while improving efficiency.
In this article, we’ll talk about the 5 most powerful ways AWS can positively impact small businesses and help them operate more efficiently. You’ll also learn the key questions to ask when deciding who to partner with to get AWS up and running for your company.
What is Amazon Web Services?
First, let’s give an overview of what Amazon Web Services is in simple terms.
AWS is a secure cloud-based platform that offers multiple types of computing functionality, such as:
- Database storage
- Website and email hosting
- Mobile services
- Desktop and app streaming
- Security, identity, and compliance
- Customer engagement tools
- Business productivity tools
You could think of AWS as like a shopping mall, it has the all the base infrastructure built in already to support various stores – the building, electricity, store spaces, parking lot – and then different types of stores can easily be added in that complement each other and work together to attract customers.
AWS gives you that base infrastructure to support a cloud-based office, that allows you to build and add components as you wish to streamline your technology and tailor it to fit your needs.
5 Ways AWS Can Benefit Your Small Business
Most small business owners wear multiple hats. As many as two-thirds are personally responsible for three or more of areas such as operations, finance, sales/marketing, customer service, and IT.
That’s a lot of bases to cover, and anything that can streamline those processes can be a huge benefit and allow you to focus on your core business growth strategies.
Small businesses spend on average 23% of their days manually inputting data. (Salesforce)
A sale comes in and it has to be input into the accounting software and the CRM software. Then you also need to get that email address to over to your email newsletter program. That’s a lot of time spent on data input.
The idea behind Amazon Web Services is to make technology run more efficiently so it frees up your time and helps you grow your business.
1. Keep Your Business Up and Running No Matter What
Having cloud-based platforms for your accounting or file storage is like having business insurance in the case of a natural disaster. If your main office were to undergo damage from a flood, fire, or tornado (or you have a main computer crash), you can keep your business going from any internet connected device in any location.
2. Intuitive Ecommerce & Customer Service
An artist marketplace, Artfinder, found they could improve sales by using AWS’s recommendation tools, which showed customers the type of art that matched their preferences.
AWS not only can help your website be an awesome 24/7 sales person, it can also automate the process of customer follow up emails.
3. Reduce Hardware Costs for IT Infrastructure
Have you been running your own backup or website server? Increasing capacity or making repairs can be costly. A cloud-based infrastructure eliminates hardware costs and headaches when a server goes down in the middle of the night.
4. Flexible and Affordable Data Storage
If you’ve ever had a computer crash, you know the importance of having everything backed up with a reliable system. On-site storage, such as a removable hard drive, can quickly get full and leave you without a full backup. The cloud-based storage in AWS is both affordable and easy to expand at the click of a button.
5. Solid Security Built In
Data privacy regulations, such as those protecting collected credit card data, are only getting more stringent. AWS has a robust set of security capabilities built in to ensure your data and your customers’ is protected and secure, reducing your chance of fines for data breach violations.
Finding the Right IT Partner (Questions to Ask)
To get the most out of Amazon Web Services, you’ll want to work with a trusted IT partner, like Twin State Technical Services, to get everything set up and tailored to your workflow.
You want to ensure the provider really listens to you and knows your business needs, so they just don’t give you a “cookie-cutter” setup. You’ll also want to research their client reviews to see what others have to say about their work.
Here are some important questions to ask to find the right provider:
- Do you have some success stories from other clients’ AWS setup?
- What types of applications on AWS do you think would match our business needs?
- What type of ongoing support do you offer?
- How long does the AWS implementation take?
- Do you handle moving all our data onto the AWS platform?
- How do you feel we could most benefit from using Amazon Web Services?
Interested in Learning More About Amazon Web Services?
Would you like to learn more about AWS and how it can make a big positive impact on your business? Twin State Technical Services has been a leader in all things tech for over 25 years and we can give you a full tour of AWS and tell you exactly what it can do for you.
Contact us today to learn more at 563-441-1504 or on our contact page.