By Tim Britt, CEO of Synoptek
The other day, I shared with my college-age son and daughter that there are five technology-titan conferences where big ideas are being realized — and it’s important they attend at least one of these conferences to inform their future employment and career choices.
As a business owner, it’s equally critical for me to attend these conferences and educate myself and my team on the big visionaries leading the IT industry.
Every year, during the last week in November, companies from all over converge to take advantage of one of the final working weeks of the year between Thanksgiving and the December holidays for the Amazon Web Services (AWS) re:Invent show.
Attendance continues to grow, too. This year, almost 50,000 people traveled to Las Vegas to hear from AWS CEO Andy Jassy and key strategic leaders about the advancements AWS is making to its cloud platform and insights into how to get the most value from using those capabilities.
Why should we care? For starters, AWS’s business grew an astounding 46% this year from $18 to $27 billion. Amazon’s biggest competitor to date is Azure — and although Azure offers comparable service — Amazon has a major lead in this space due to its early-start advantage. Launched in 2006, roughly four years before Microsoft’s Azure, AWS has secured a place as the dominant cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) provider. Let’s look at what’s driving this growth and what we need to keep in mind
- AWS continues to realize its vision of being the most ubiquitous, flexible and cost-effective IT Infrastructure as a service solution in the world. The AWS cloud solution (along with Azure and Google) enablesorganizations to ultimately exit the business of owning IT. They have truly realized a global compute and storage grid that can be purchased based on use – no different than electricity. Amazon continues to evolve to new compute-utility concepts such as containers and serverless architecture that we expect to become standard. Businesses need to increasingly question capital-intensive, large-scale IT infrastructure, no different than companies questioned building captive power plants in the late 1800s. AWS announced new solutions that enable organizations that provide a streamlined onramp to the cloud with AWS Outposts.
- Manages costs, takes advantage of the acceleration and supports business evolution. While IT as a utility is the immediate benefit of moving to the cloud, it is not the strategic driver for a transition. AWS most likely increases costs in the short-term unless applications are redesigned or tightly managed. However, those who opt for the short-term savings by avoiding the transition or continuing to leverage fully-depreciated infrastructure forego accelerated transformation. Further, those who make this transition, position themselves to rapidly evolve their business and leverage advanced applications such as data analytics and deep-learning solutions.
- Accelerates IT infrastructure services. AWS is no longer a simple infrastructure as a service solution but continues to evolve its platform and introduce services that essentially replace all of the services owned and operated by most companies. They provide access control and identity management, security management, data management and continuity management.
- Data, data, data and intelligence. AWS raised the bar for cloud-data services, analytics and AI. We expect these services to completely change industries, businesses and the workplace. AWS advanced their vision of data services and the intelligence marketplace in the cloud, promoting 11 major data services and powerful AI platforms. AWS’s multiple announcements prompted defensive responses from Oracle’s Larry Ellison and will certainly heat up the competition between AWS and Microsoft. However, most importantly, AWS and Microsoft promise to enable businesses to completely change their outcomes leveraging analytics and AI.
We can expect to continue seeing AWS squeeze the cost out of the cloud – redesigning underlying architectural and systems software components such as:
- AWS Outposts: An AWS cloud aware owned and operated data center solution and stepping stone to the cloud
- Control Tower: A solution for setting up and monitoring and controlling a complicated environment
- Lower-cost, large-scale storage
- New capabilities around machine learning, IoT and Block Chain for advanced users
Ultimately, Amazon’s AWS’s Re:Invent reminds us how cloud computing will change the world. Every business executive should be paying attention because businesses worldwide will be affected. If your company is not taking steps to leverage the cloud, then you’re not leveraging your business to its full potential and are, ultimately, falling behind. The cloud is enabling new visions that are changing companies, industries and fundamentally the human experience.