As Amazon's global imprint continues to expand, the e-commerce giant is celebrating the 15th anniversary of Simple Storage Service, Amazon S3, the first of its cloud service offerings. Launched back in March 2006, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has since become a model for not only other e-commerce entities but a wide range of industries that incorporate cloud services.
"We've been the pioneers in this space. The concept of cloud computing didn't exist before this, and we got a real head start in building these services. Also, the close relationship with our customers — being able to get continuous feedback from our customers — have resulted in the fact that now we have more than 200 services," Werner Vogels, Amazon's chief technical officer, told Cheddar.
Vogels said Amazon's maturation into cloud services was a natural progression for the company because it has been "a tech company since day one." For client businesses, Amazon's low-cost cloud services with no long-term commitments were an immediate draw. And, while the pandemic has slowed the production of semiconductors for cloud computing chips, Vogels said Amazon has prepared for the exact scenario, building their own chips and redundancies in their systems.
"Remember, of course, that we learned a lot from building the supply chain for AWS from the tremendous effective supply chain that Amazon.com has, and as such we're building supply chains to 25 regions around the world that are all replicated and actually can sustain shortages in any of those supply chains," he noted.
Also, the tech industry isn't the only one benefitting from the cloud, according to Vogels. Many industries have been able to utilize the technology. Farmers have even found ways to use the services to manage data related to land cultivation and to create effective labor plans.
"If you travel outside of the U.S., what you meet a lot is these companies that are solving truly hard human problems," he said. "For example, in Indonesia, there's a company called HARA Token where smallholder rice farmers, they don't have an identity and as such cannot get loans, and so what this small company does is give them an identity, measure their piece of land, measure their yield, and make the data available to banks."
In order to be able to share more stories about how AWS impacts the world beyond business, Vogel traveled the globe for the Now Go Build video series highlighting startups tackling the aforementioned "hard human problems."
Updated March 19, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. ET to clarify that the name of the service launched 15 years ago was the Simple Storage Service, Amazon S3.