I looked at the Parler-Amazon situation in a previous blog post as a cautionary tale. The focus was on the negative side of that situation and finding ways to avoid vendor lock-in. In this article, I will look at the positive side of that situation. Parler would likely not exist at all and definitely would not be the same if not for Amazon. This is a tale of how we can leverage the cloud to take our business to new heights.
Leverage The Cloud To Plan Big
In the past, technology required a lot of setup, configuration, negotiations, and then waiting for our order to be fulfilled. Those steps can be accomplished in minutes and provide us a solution at scale with cloud solutions. Yes, opening an Amazon account and getting through the verification steps may take a day or two. However, once we have that out of the way, we can build an enterprise system without a need to order servers or negotiate deals. We also can build a solution for our small business today that grows to support our enterprise tomorrow. Better yet, this is not something only Amazon provides. There are countless full-scale providers like Microsoft and Google and niche solutions like Salesforce, NetSuite, and so many others. We have the opportunity to start small and grow as big as our vision allow
In the Parler example, they started with a need for a platform that supported messages and profiles for a user base of maybe thousands. When that suddenly grew, they could leverage the cloud and instantly support that growth of server requirements. We could gloss right over that fact, but it would miss how critical SAAS and cloud solutions can be to organizations’ “overnight success.” That would ignore a history of businesses that were not ready for substantial growth, and they ended up folding instead of becoming a success. We can look back a few decades to the Internet boom of the late ’90s. There we find numerous examples of companies that bet big on marketing, got a hit, and then collapsed due to a lack of ability to support rapid growth.
A Positive Focus
It is easy to point to big organizations like Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and even IBM (remember them?) as behemoths that squash the little guys. On the other hand, part of their growth has come from the platform they provide to many of those same little guys. It is astounding how many companies have e-commerce capabilities and a way to connect to customers. That is often because of these giant companies and their offerings. Of course, the platforms will take their cut. For example, it is only fair that Apple should get a share of sales on the Apple store. We can argue about how much (or little) is “reasonable.” Nevertheless, that does not remove the fact that so many companies and individuals rely on these platforms to exist. That is where the previous warning against single vendor lock-in came from.
Know Your Place
Therefore, we often need these big vendor relationships to get our business off the ground. We are wise to be wary of the partnerships we put in place. However, we also can use them to think bigger than we have in the past. The promise of the cloud is a near-infinite ability to scale a solution that is designed right. Do not let that be ignored as you consider how to position your product or organization. We can paint these platforms as the next monopolistic wave. On the other hand, we are better served by finding ways to leverage what they provide. That allows us to get our own organization off the ground and on a solid footing.