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Cloud 'superpowers' drive businesses forward

Cloud 'superpowers' drive businesses forward

AWS CEO Andy Jassy says the cloud has gone from becoming the new normal to being the source of unprecedented abilities to transform the business.

You will have the ability to fly, understand data better and unshackle yourselves from customer-hostile database vendors.

Andy Jassy, Amazon Web Services

Andy Jassy, chief executive of Amazon Web Services, touts the public cloud company’s continuing ascent, not only in revenues but in the company's reach across organisation size and sectors.

At his keynote to open this year’s AWS re:Invent conference held in Las Vegas, Jassy says the company is now the fastest growing multi-billion dollar IT company, with revenues of nearly $13 billion, and growing 55 per cent year on year.

Its customers range from technology startups like AirBnB and Slack “to every imaginable vertical business segment in the enterprise”.

These include Commonwealth Bank of Australia, healthcare companies, 2300 government agencies and a range of not for profits, Jassy tells the more than 32,000 delegates, with another 50,000 on livestream, at the global gathering of the AWS community.

We are now witnessing the “changing of the guard”, with 'old guard' companies like Oracle, IBM and Microsoft contracting.'

The new guards, the likes of Salesforce and Workday, are rising to become the technology partners in the next couple of decades, he states.

He says three years ago, re:Invent’s theme was ‘Cloud has become the new normal’. Companies of all sizes are deploying all apps in the cloud by default, he states.

In 2015 it was, “Control your destiny”, where cloud motivates and inspires builders in the cloud.

For 2016 it is, ‘'With AWS, it can feel like you have been given superpowers”.

Onef these powers is “supersonic speed”.

He says most conversations for people who end up moving into the cloud start with cost. But he says the number one reason organisations move to the cloud is speed and agility. The cloud allows them to move fast, with a plethora of infrastructure services at their fingertips.

Another superpower delivered by the cloud is “X-ray vision”.

This means having the unique ability to see through the hand waving and bombast of the “old guard leaders”.

''They make all sorts of wide claims and you have no ability to know it was real. You have to make a buying decision to be able to figure it out,'' says Jassy.

In the cloud, you can test the services at any period of time, so you get to make an educated decision. Another benefit is the ability to understand customers better through data analytics.

It has never been easier and more cost effective to analyse and share data in the cloud, he states.

As well, he says the cloud also gives organisations the “the ability to fly”.

''You have the freedom to build fast, understand data better and unshackle yourselves from customer-hostile database vendors,'' he states.

He concluded his keynote by saying the first 10 years of AWS in the market has been an explosion of innovation, not just from the company but also from customers of all sizes.

He does not believe this innovation will slow down in the next 10 years.

“If you think about the first 10 years, how much time and energy we wasted with people wondering is anybody going to use the cloud. Will they be using it for anything more important, will it be more than startups, will governments use the cloud, and will anybody run mission critical systems on the cloud?”

“We spent a lot of time collectively wrestling with those questions.

Today, we don’t have any of those questions, he states. “Every conversation is a 'when and how' conversation” on the cloud.

He says a whole generation of technology builders are going to emerge and will not waste any energy on those decade-old questions. ''They will spend all of their time using the cloud and its massive capabilities to build new businesses we never imagined before and working with existing businesses to change the customer experience.”

Sidebar: Reasons for migration

At the keynote, Jassy is joined by AWS customers who talked about their experience on moving and even going ‘all in’ to the cloud.

Fabio Veronese, head of infrastructure and technological services at Enel, explains the scope of the systems the power company covers - the company has more than 61 million customers and is a leader in smart meter deployment.

The move to AWS has enabled Enel to save time and lower cost. Computational power savings are up to 21 per cent and storage savings are up to 60 per cent, he states.

By 2018, the goal of Enel is to move 100 per cent of its applications to the cloud. The company will go ‘all in’ the cloud, closing its last data centre, decommissioning the mainframe and go on a full cloud operating model.

Moving to the cloud is a company decision not an IT mode, he says, citing that first and foremost in the migration was the support of both the CFO and CEO.

Aneel Bhusri, CEO of Workday, also went on stage to talk about the company’s decision to name AWS as its preferred cloud provider.

“We built our own data centres, butwe made the decision to focus on building great apps but leverage the broad platform and power of AWS,” he explains.

McDonald's CTO Tom Gergets says the company’s vision is to be a modern and progressive burger company. It is also cognisant that customers are looking for personalised experience, recognition for their loyalty and options for delivery.

McDonald’s turned to AWS as part of its enterprise-wide digital transformation.

“We found a partner in AWS,” says Gergets. “We knew they had reliability and capacity to support the needs of our digital platforms.”

Today, he says, the platform that has been rolled out to five countries, is able to handle 31 million transactions per hour or 8600 transactions per second.

Steve Randich, vice president and CIO at Finra ( Financial Industry Regulatory Authority), a non-governmental organization that regulates member brokerage firms and exchange markets, says the organisation collects a massive amount of data - 75 billion records come into Finra each day, he says

“We process everyday what Visa and Mastercard process over six months,” he claims.

The reasons the company went ‘all in’ to the cloud were reduced technology spend, to lose proprietary infrastructure and leverage massive processing.

He says there were huge and pleasant surprises from the move. One of them is the ability to absorb market peaks like Brexit, without operational challenge.

Jassy, meanwhile, says one of the biggest mistakes companies can make is to give up the ability to adapt quickly, as new technologies emerge.

Enterprises are figuring out they have to use and take advantage of new technology changes and the vast capabilities of the cloud, if they want to exist and operate forever, he says.

Divina Paredes attended re:Invent 2016 as a guest of AWS.

Send news tips and comments to divina_paredes@idg.co.nz

Follow Divina Paredes on Twitter: @divinap

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Tags leadershipre:Inventcio and ceoAWScustomer centriccxdigital disruptionAndy JassyCustomer ExperienceCEOtransformationCloudre:Invent 2016

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