Friday, June 23, 2017

Wal-Mart squeezing out the little guy, or protecting their turf

Wal-Mart recently announced it would no longer work with technology vendors who run applications for the company from Amazon Web Services platform.  While plenty of cases have been made about Wal-Mart strong-arming suppliers, and setting their own terms in negotiations, it seems this instance has more to do with defending their own secrets.

Wal-Mart's decision is rooted in the fact they don't want their sensitive data sitting on a competitor's servers. In an age where more and more data is used to drive decisions, having unique data or analysis on customers is a source of competitive advantage, and there are few companies who can compete with Wal-Mart in either volume or quality of data; Amazon is likely one of this companies. And if there's anyone who knows what to do with that kind of data, it's Amazon.

Cyber security has been a front-and center issue for all online retailers, though typically it's because of the threat of hackers and outside threats. Wal-Mart's concern is in protecting from competitor threats. With one of Amazon's primary goals being to completely integrate businesses into their AWS platform, it's not very far fetched that Amazon could stumble upon sensitive information.

I don't think I blame Wal-Mart on this one.

Wal-Mart drops tech vendors using AWS

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