Cloud has revolutionized the way businesses operate, especially when it comes to startups. It’s uncommon now to find a startup that isn’t cloud native; most chose to adopt a cloud infrastructure from the beginning. Businesses across the Middle East, such as Careem, Anghami, Boutiqaat, Mrsool and so many more, have been able to grow and innovate quickly, seamlessly underpinned by their highly secure, agile, and flexible cloud infrastructure. Startups approach cloud, and more importantly security, with a different viewpoint when compared to larger established organizations who are still struggling to marry together new capabilities with legacy systems. 

With the recent launch of the AWS Middle East Region, startups in the region now have even greater access to advanced and secure technology infrastructure to bring their ideas to life and scale rapidly, safe in the knowledge that security is not an after-thought, but rather the cornerstone of the entire platform of services and infrastructure. 

Smart investments

When starting a business, managing costs is critical, therefore investments that deliver the highest possible value and return on investment (ROI) are a must, so startups only pay for the services they use. This approach enables them to avoid the large upfront expense of owned infrastructure, and manage their IT at a lower cost than an on-premises environment.

However, low cost does not mean low functionality. On the contrary, a startup operating on cloud infrastructure has access to the same services and capabilities as the largest enterprise or government customers. This investment includes entire teams dedicated to security that satisfy the security and compliance needs of the most risk-sensitive organizations. This allows them to compete on an even playing field, innovating quickly and bringing products to market, all with the knowledge that they have world-class security in place to protect against the most prevalent threats. 

Scalability

Startups are ambitious, tenacious and hungry to expand, so choosing to build and scale their business on the cloud is a natural choice. Simply by embracing cloud, startups can scale rapidly, giving them the ability to add or remove resources to meet evolving business demands as required. Instead of investing in data centers, servers and service level agreements, cloud technology allows startups to react faster and more flexible, to experiment, innovate and better serve customers. 

Speed and Agility

The cloud provides an opportunity for startups to optimize existing IT systems and to increase operational efficiencies while driving business agility and growth. This is achieved by allowing companies to significantly decrease the time it takes to provision and de-provision IT infrastructure. While a physical server could take months or weeks to procure and provision, a cloud server takes minutes. Furthermore, cloud technology supports the increasingly rapid pace of product development and the need to swiftly bring products to market.  

Security 

Startups must make security a top priority, regardless of size. A security breach can impact startups by hurting their reputation and customer base and can have repercussions on the larger organizations these businesses do business with. Startups need to bake-in security from the ground up to make sure they are not the weak link in a supply chain. 

Security Automation 

Time is precious for startups and, we at AWS know that automating security tasks enables startups to be more secure by reducing human configuration errors and giving teams more time to work on other tasks critical to the business. Automation can also offer a smarter approach to detecting potential threats through its ability to monitor patterns of behavior. Being able to identify changes in behavior means potential attacks can be identified and dealt with immediately. Applying machine learning and mathematical logic to security also allows the cloud to proactively manage tasks including security assessments, threat detection, and policy management.  Using automated reasoning technology, the application of mathematical logic to help answer critical questions about infrastructure, we are able to detect entire classes of misconfigurations that could potentially expose vulnerable data. 

From an early stage, startups must choose a cloud provider whose network architecture is designed to meet the requirements of the most security-sensitive organizations in the world. We believe startups are a huge driving force for innovation. However, this wouldn’t be possible without a cloud provider that can support and evolve with them as they grow and that enables them to keep their data safe and protect against malicious attacks. By having a cloud-native approach and putting security at the center, startups can focus on innovating and disrupting their industry, knowing that their cloud infrastructure is as agile, highly secure, and dynamic as they are.

Vinod Krishnan

Vinod Krishnan

Vinod is the Head of MENA, Amazon Web Services (AWS).

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