The ‘cloud’ once introduced a complex twist to the story of internet technology – confusing those accustomed to traditional infrastructure and leaving skeptics unsure of its true potential. Today, cloud computing has become the next big step in an organization’s quest to gain greater productivity, agility, and innovation among other benefits. Indeed, due to the pandemic, it is inevitable that part of the network of nearly every organization will be moved to the cloud as a way to future-proof their business model.
As the most comprehensive and widely adopted cloud platform in the world, Amazon Web Services (AWS) Public First commissioned global strategic advisory to prepare a report on the impact of AWS on the Canadian economy. Their findings not only share a glimpse into how the cloud affects businesses at the surface level, but also how the expansion of cloud adoption can significantly boost the state of the country’s economic health. For example, the report found that in 2021, AWS generated nearly $8.5 billion in economic value for Canada — supporting 380,000 businesses. By 2030, it is estimated that increased use and uptake of cloud computing could help increase GDP by an additional 1.7%, or the equivalent of more than $40 billion.
And that’s not something that only a handful of companies benefit from. “There is a lot of evidence of the impact of cloud computing in every kind of industry,” says Eric Gales, AWS Country Director. ‘Question for Why A business has gone that might use the cloud – today businesses are asking for it How And the when They can apply it.”
With native brands growing digitally during the pandemic, AWS has bolstered their resilience in many ways. For companies that were already using the cloud, they were able to scale and meet the demand for e-commerce and remote work. For the Canadian government, AWS has helped customers rapidly develop digital solutions for everything from tracking the spread of COVID-19 to launching cloud-based call centers capable of assisting people applying for the Emergency Response Benefits Program (CERB).
As the benefits of cloud computing become common knowledge, it should come as no surprise that many Canadian unicorns (startups worth over $1 billion) are running on AWS. Among them, New Financial Calgary.
Neo Financial combines digital banking with a network of reward offerings tailored to individual spending behaviour. Despite being a relatively new company, founded only in 2019, Neo has quickly grown into one of the top financial services companies in Canada. “We have always believed that we can add more value to the lives of our customers and the financial landscape in Canada through the use of data, machine learning and analytics,” says Chris Reed, co-founder and CTO of Neo Financial. The company has been using AWS Data Lakes and Analytics since its inception, and has been able to help clients with budgeting, mortgage payments, and financial planning with this tool.
With over a million customers, Neo has a lot of information to organize – when it comes to securely storing financial data, the company considers the AWS Quantum Ledger Database to be the most powerful and sophisticated solution. “Tools like these have given us the flexibility to develop new products and solutions faster,” Reed says.
Of the 58% of companies using AWS that reported growth in the past 3 years (compared to only 39% of companies that did not invest in any cloud), Neo Financial used AWS cloud computing tools to scale their infrastructure and services along with Brand development nationwide. “It was important for us, when adopting AWS, to know that our technology could expand infinitely along with the growth of Neo,” Reed says. “We have been able to scale our processing systems to serve more than 1 million new accounts opened and attend each transaction as it takes place in real time.”
Outside of the fintech world, AWS has also had a huge impact in the areas of innovation and sustainability. Environmentally conscious digital thermostat company Mysa, founded with a clear mission to combat climate change through energy efficiency, has joined AWS Activate Startups When it was founded in 2016. Today, the company is part of the 74% of Canadian companies that said using cloud services helps them reduce the environmental impact of their computing. “We invest a lot in our own sustainability, so any technology we adopt has to fit that mold,” says Peter Woodman, Head of Software and New Products Development at Mysa. “AWS has allowed us to simplify our digital infrastructure without dedicated servers, which can be easily scaled up and incredibly energy efficient.”
Peter also claims that one of the most attractive parts of early AWS was the financial support for startups. “The access to free services through their Activate for Startups program and their generous free services tier allowed us to save a lot of money during a very important time in the company’s development.” Like 84% of AWS users who report saving money with the cloud, Mysa has been able to focus on expanding its innovative offering with new products and services. “Our innovation strategy has always been to stay consistent with the way we see the future of energy,” Woodman says. “There is of course a major technology push in the energy field to improve the climate crisis – we’ve pushed our innovation efforts by offering an energy-efficient, low-carbon product that’s easy for anyone to use.”
With the cloud computing phenomenon on the rise, so to speak, and technology becoming opaque, Canadian companies can agree that AWS is an essential part of the company’s growth. And in areas that include productivity, innovation, agility, and even sustainability, veteran Canadian companies along with the country’s burgeoning startup ecosystem have the tools to increase impact.
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