We built Amazon Web Services (AWS) and became one of its biggest customers because we wanted to move faster. Before AWS, we had teams working on new ideas for the business and we found that they kept reinventing the wheel. Some of these teams were spending up to 70% of their time re-creating technology infrastructure—things like a web scale database, storage, queuing service, and other capabilities that we already had in use in other areas of the business. Not only was this extremely time consuming work for the teams, it was time that they weren't focused on delivering for customers. They were spending the majority of their time on the undifferentiating parts of the infrastructure required to make the idea work. That just seemed backwards to us.
With AWS, Amazon teams can focus on their ideas—instantly spinning up an experiment of just about any size on-demand, without upfront capital expenditure. And they can spin it down just as quickly to re-tool if they need to, then do it all over again. That kind of experimentation loop can really pay off—particularly for large-scale innovations—when you move rapidly, experiment more, and lower the cost of failure.
AWS is now used by more than a million customers around the world—organisations of all sizes in all industries.