AWS is without a doubt the leader in the cloud space. Last year saw us attend reinvent 2017, its flagship conference in Las Vegas.
As you would expect Reinvent 2017 was huge, yes it saw the launch of more services than you could throw a stick at as is customary at these events. I covered this here
Amazon Web services as a company are on the up with recent 2017 figures confirming a reporting revenue of $4.58 billion beating the $4.5 billion expected analyst estimate at the time.
This is indeed a sign of growth!
AWS is currently offering at least 90+ services from 20 verticals at the last count
Significantly more services are available than at launch in 2011
The challenge, however, is that some of the services are duplicates of each other, meaning that they do the same thing. So, it begs the question why the duplication and in many cases added complication?
Long gone are the days when ‘Simple’ was part of the naming convention used to describe Amazon Services. Remember Simple Storage Service (S3), Simple Workflow Service (SWF), to name a few?
The name of the services may be different but the products are effectively the same. Simple and stripped down services like Lightsail (which is a simpler way of spinning up a VM in an EC instance) should be the order of the day.
Consequently, the ever-growing portfolio makes it more difficult for users, decision-makers and techs, support ecosystem of partners, and suppliers of services who have to be able to stay abreast of the changes in the AWS eco-system and skill up accordingly to meet the market demands.
The simplicity of approach seems to have gone out the window and it needs to come back.
According to Janakiram MSV who wrote an article for Forbes:
“One of the most significant challenges for AWS and its ecosystem is the fragmentation of the services. Just a few years ago, AWS had a handful of services that were classified under compute, storage, networking, databases and application development.”
He goes on to say that
“The service sprawl and fragmentation would also hurt the salesforce of AWS and the resellers. It would be tough for account managers and solution architects to succinctly articulate the AWS value proposition to customers. The partner ecosystem would also suffer from the challenge of keeping up with the pace of announcements.”
I would also add that due to the currently available and overwhelming number of services, service providers, consultancies, training partners, and technical professionals will inevitably have to answer some key questions.
For Engineers in the industry, It will be how relevant are the certs to get the job done and ensure employability. I currently have all 5 certs of the base certifications but there are 2 more “speciality exams” in networking and big data respectively.
Where do you draw the line? There are rumours of more certifications on the way, let’s see what the year brings and how the certifications will map to real life use.
The questions for recruiters will be ‘how do I articulate the right skillset that map to all of these available services in order to get the best fit for the customer?’
A check of the Job-boards will show predominantly for AWS solution Architect and DevOps Engineer jobs. Surely this does not capture the depth and breadth of all the necessary knowledge required to provide insight on all the currently available AWS services.
With So many AWS services in play and with multiple AWS services available to address a specific solution.
How do I know which AWS service is the right solution for a client?
How do I know how to get the right level of knowledge?
How do I assess which candidates have the right depth and breadth knowledge?
These are critical questions that service providers in the AWS ecosystem must address with the current plethora of AWS services.
I think the first step to putting the puzzle pieces together for all service provider players is for Amazon to once again simplify their service offerings, now they have shown they can diversify services.