The One Boring Reason Why People Use the AWS Service

One of my clients recently started using a relatively new AWS CI/CD Service, and I just stumbled on a defensive/marketing type post from one of the traditional providers. And it made me realise how much vendors can miss the reason people choose to go with the AWS/GCP/Azure service, even if it’s inferior.

Aside: I’m not going to link to the article because they don’t deserve the clicks.

Back to their post, it went through a familiar structure:

  1. “But it doesn’t have all the features, our lovely features”
  2. “You can’t self-host, you’re LOCKED-IN!”
  3. “Why not buy into our broader platform?”

I’ll go through these in turn, before getting to the actual reasons.

“It doesn’t have the features…”

It doesn’t. It’s version 1 of an AWS product… they always launch very lean and gain new things.

And yes, it only supports 3 integrations while Vendor supports around 30. Turns out though those 3 are the most important ones. Others will be added I’m sure, but only where people will use them.

“You can’t self-host, you’re LOCKED-IN”

Good. I literally don’t want to.

I know that some Ops-Teams feel happier that they can touch a container or an instance, but this is a product that can be replaced quite easily, include by this Vendor should the need arise.

They do have a SaaS offering you can pay for, but it’s relatively expensive for small-teams. (And we’ll come onto legal things later)

“Why not buy into our broader platform?”

Lock-in to your cloud provider is bad, but if you use all of their products you can get a great unified experience… which sounds a little like, erm, lock-in.

The simple reason people choose the service on their Cloud… procurement

Companies generally make buying stuff difficult. Every new vendor is a new round of legal review, potentially procurement exercises. It’s a painful affair.

This Vendor does sell their SaaS platform on the AWS marketplace, but it’s another End User License Agreement (EULA) that needs to be accepted. And that means it has to evaluated by a legal-team: like most other EULAs the lawyers will probably go “Yeah, it’s got a bunch of stuff in it that nobody could ever enforce, so proceed at a tiny risk”.

When you already have a cloud-provider, and the legal/finance agreements are in place, it’s just easier to use the provided service.

The ‘default’ product may well be inferior, have less features, and even be more expensive: but if I can click “use this” without involving legal – it’s the one I’ll likely choose.

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