IT cost – no longer a big problem for Vietnamese startups

November 21, 2020 | 12:11
Aware of the cost challenge among startups, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is working on a number of services to help them succeed on a budget.

According to Digbijoy “Diggy” Shukla, head of Startup Business Development, ASEAN, AWS, IT/cloud cost is one of the three biggest budget items for a startup, together with people cost, and the marketing costs. Every startup needs to manage their capital to succeed because capital is always scarce and limited, especially for a startup. It is extremely important how they utilise a budget, how they spend their budget.

it cost no longer a big problem for vietnamese startups
Digbijoy “Diggy” Shukla, head of Startup Business Development, ASEAN, AWS

How startup can optimise costs on cloud

Every startup is different and has different business models. They also have different technology needs that eventually determine their cloud spin.

AWS allows the smallest to the largest startups to scale as needed. It makes sure that their cloud spend is well optimised and expenses are the least. It is the cost-effective “pay as you go” model. With this, startups do not need to spend upfront on purchasing infrastructure or equipment. They can do multiple experiments and pilots with a very low cost. And they can quickly scale with AWS, if the experiment is successful.

There are a few ways startups can optimise the cost. These are the tools that are offered as part of the AWS offerings namely AWS Cost Explorer, AWS Budgets, AWS Trusted Advisor, and the AWS Well Architected Review.

Besides these, the company gives the startups automated tools to tell them where they're spending the money and how they can save. There are other ways as well, whereby startups can save money on AWS services.

“Moreover, AWS has the Startup Business Development Team that works with the broader ecosystem to engage with startups. We work with all the investors like venture capitalists, incubators/accelerators and their portfolio companies. We help our startup customers get onboard with AWS, understand the technology of AWS. We also work with incubators, accelerators to optimise their portfolio companies and support their portfolio companies to onboard on AWS,” said Diggy Shukla.

“The biggest goal of this team is to ensure that startups are using AWS in a cost-optimised manner. Saving costs is one of the key criteria for AWS and specifically for this team to ensure that startups are only using what they really need. And they're not billing or paying AWS in excess. They're well optimised,” he noted.

AWS recently launched Savings Plan, which is a flexible pricing model that provides savings of up to 72 per cent on the AWS computer usage. Customers simply commit to a consistent amount of usage, for example, if they commit to $10/hour over a one- or three-year commitment, they will obviously get a very high discount. The company has so far reduced its prices by 85 times since AWS launched in 2006.

These are stories from customers across the globe who have obviously saved a lot of cost by using AWS and by utilising some of the tools and the frameworks.

In Vietnam, Not a Basement Studio (NAB), the maker of internationally-renowned photos and video chains like Fuzel College (App Store’s Best Apps of 2012), is an example, which won the Editor's Choice award both on Google Play and the App Store. By leveraging AWS cloud services such as Amazon EC2, the storage service, S3, and Elastic Load Balancing, NAB was able to quickly scale up their infrastructure to support a lot more users than they could before, easily manage structure, and drastically cut down on deployment time.

Most importantly, their maintenance costs came down approximately by 50 per cent. Because of this, they also had time to market new product features to get more customers.

AWS Activate Programme

AWS Activate Progamme provides startups with free tools and resources to get started quickly on AWS. This past year alone, AWS has issued more than a $1 billion in AWS Activate credits and more than $3.5 billion dollars in credits to more than 140,000 startups.

Since its launch in October 2013, tens of thousands of startups globally have taken advantage of this opportunity each year. AWS also works with hundreds of accelerators, angel investors, venture capital firms, and other startup-enabling organisations across the globe.

Startups in Vietnam have also benefited from AWS Activate Programme. In the last few years, most startups, especially technology-enabled startups, are going to the cloud looking for savings and other benefits.

According to Diggy Shukla, there are no specific challenges for Vietnamese startups to adopt AWS cloud or to follow the best practices. “In fact, we have seen interesting startups come out from Vietnam. And if you look at the funding, I think there has been a lot of interest from external mainstream VCs, like Sequoia, some of the venture capitalists who are looking to invest in startups in Vietnam, which is a reflection of the maturity of the startups that are coming out of Vietnam.”

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By Bich Thuy

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