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eBay, the world’s largest marketplace, has launched its own public cloud-based platform that will run parallel to its existing on-premise system. This is the first step taken by the company to fully migrate its platform from an on-premise one to the cloud. The company claims that it made this transition within a period of six months, which is no ordinary feat, considering that at any given moment, eBay has at least one billion listings spread across the 200 countries in which it operates.
If you’re wondering why it’s transitioned to the cloud, the answer is easy. Cloud offers a ton of benefits for businesses, and this is partly the reason for almost every major company in the world to have some or all major applications in the world. eBay wanted to follow suit, and tap into the many advantages that comes with cloud.
The next obvious question is, why it chose to build a public cloud-based platform from scratch instead of choosing one of the prominent platforms like AWS and Azure? Well, there are many reasons for it.
First off, eBay wants to cater to a growing digital customer base, as new generations of tech-savvy buyers and sellers are emerging. With its own platform, it will have the flexibility to customize and add-on all the features it wants.
Secondly, eBay will have a high level of control if it owns the cloud, when compared to storing all the data in a system owned by another company. Let’s say, it stores all its important applications in AWS.
What happens if Amazon decides to start its own business similar to eBay? Technically speaking, this shouldn’t affect eBay’s operations, but it can still create doubts in the minds of its customers. Moreover, when eBay retains the cloud, it has greater visibility into what’s going on inside its operations.
The third factor is cost. In general, cloud is cheaper than investing in capital-based items like servers and data centers. However, this rule applies only when your business is small and you use only a small amount of space on the cloud. Remember, most cloud providers use a pay-as-you-go model, which means, when your usage level increases, you’re going to have to pay more.
As your business grows, there will come a point when the subscription fee you pay towards a cloud service will be more than your capital expenditure. At that time, it’ll be too late to turn back.
To avoid getting into such a situation, eBay decided to build its own platform. This is a sensible strategy given that eBay already has more than one billion listings, and this is only likely to grow over the next few years.
Lastly, the preferences of buyers and sellers are changing rapidly, so eBay wants to be in a position to react well to these dynamic changes. This requires a complete control over its operations, including its data management, and this is another compelling reason for eBay to launch its own cloud platform.
Overall, this is a great decision by the company, and hopefully it works well in the coming years.