The Amazon Web Services London Summit earlier this month delivered a vision of what companies are looking at achieving in the continuously evolving and transforming hyper cloud. For yet another year we supported the event as Gold Sponsors and had the pleasure of meeting many of the 12,000 attendees, from both the public and private sector, who wanted to find out more about how we can help them embrace the cloud-native reality.
The prevalent theme of the Summit this year was around how technology, strategy and culture are becoming more integrated for any truly cloud-centric business. By embracing the cloud technology and innovating on top of it, companies are able to create vast amounts of value very quickly.
However, to absorb the technology and benefit from the huge productivity gains, according to Gavin Jackson, Managing Director of AWS UK and Ireland, companies need a central strategy that unites the business so it becomes a cloud-native organisation, combined with the culture to foster innovation across the company.
"Culture eats strategy for breakfast" – Mark Fields, CEO, Ford.
Did you miss the AWS Summit? Here are our key takeaways:
The digital spring is here
This ‘digital spring’, as referred to by Gavin Jackson, is accelerating the metabolism of economies driving the exponential curve of progress across all industries.
Peter Vik of Jaguar Land Rover, emphasised the importance of fostering the passion for innovation to create a differentiating experience for the customer. Enabled by the agility of the cloud, JLR are able to deliver autonomous, connected, electrified and shared experiences for their customers.
"We will see more change in the next five years than we did in the previous fifteen years". - Peter Vik, Director of Connected Car and Future Technology, Jaguar Land Rover.
And the public sector is not far behind in embracing the power of cloud technologies. Quoting the UK Ministry of Justice during AWS Keynote on Day 1, increasingly public sector organisations are recognising that “cloud is just better”.
Many of the breakout sessions during the Summit, as well as the keynote, dove into the DevOps practices and the continuous move from ‘server to serverless’. Containers have evolved from a niche developer tool to a mainstream enterprise deployment platform.
The cloud-native adoption, and the agile culture that it brings to the organisation, is facilitating the focus in the organisation to shift from the technology, to delivering business value by everyone. ‘Builders want to build, not manage clusters’, or worry about availability, according to Dr. Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon. Through serverless technology, your organisation can focus on delivering the business value, allowing you to manage everything at application level, launch new features easily and scale quickly, while not worrying about idle capacity.
It’s all about data
Big Data was another prevalent topic of the Summit highlighted as becoming the main differentiator for companies in all sectors.
"It is all about data - the data that you have as a company, the way that you use it to engage your customers, to build better business processes, to develop new products, is really going to be the way that companies are going to compete". – Dr. Werner Vogels, CTO, Amazon.com.
The Builders Fair and many of the sessions focused on innovations using Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence from facial recognition and to connected devices. At the KCOM stand we showcased some of the object recognition and deep learning capabilities of the AWS DeepLens camera in our latest demo. The DeepLens camera brings AWS one step closer on their mission to put machine learning in the hands of every developer and data scientist.
"If you don’t want to get your hands so dirty, then you can use the machine learning service to host the compute and algorithms, allowing you to focus on producing models" . – Dr. Werner Vogels, CTO, Amazon.com.
The area of Big Data and analytics is moving fast from looking backwards through business intelligence practices, or looking at the ‘now’ through real-time analytics, to looking at the future and making use of your data to make predictions of the future. Organisations are increasingly differentiating themselves by delivering enhanced customer experiences by the cloud efficiency of Machine Learning and AI algorithms, through predictive analytics and utilising self-managing infrastructure.
Security is everyone’s concern
As GDPR is coming into effect this week, and many of the European companies are still falling behind on the data security practices implementation, security and identity and access management need to be integrated across the whole pipeline. By moving to practices of continuous development and integration, security is no longer confined to the security team, but is becoming everyone’s job. It is everyone in the company’s responsibility to ensure that the systems are built in a way that truly protect customers. This drives companies to move to cloud as you can achieve higher security than on premise.
"The pace of innovation meets the pace of protection through automation" . – Dr. Werner Vogels, CTO, Amazon.co
Contact Centres moving to the cloud
Much of the buzz at AWS Summit was around Amazon Connect and its availability in the UK. Through a cloud-based approach, agents have the flexibility to deliver customer service from any location, with access to the same features and functionality as they would in the traditional contact centre. By working with KCOM, businesses can innovate quickly to create truly personalised customer experiences and an ‘on-demand’ contact centre, so spikes in demand can be smoothly managed, whether they are anticipated or unexpected. They can also cut costs dramatically by paying only for the number of ‘seats’ they use.
KCOM is one of the first UK companies able to deliver public cloud contact centres to UK businesses as a newly-recognised Amazon Connect Go-to Consulting Partner.
Embracing the AWS Well-Architected best practices
During the first day of the Summit many attendees joined the Well-Architected Workshop, and visited our stand for a drop-in session to learn how to build and improve the quality of applications using AWS architectural best practices. Our cloud experts were happy to advise on how to develop optimised and high-performing AWS workloads. As an official AWS Well-Architected Review Partner we are offering free Well-Architected Reviews to help customers design and operate reliable, secure, efficient and cost-effective systems in the cloud. Find out more about out some of the conversations and Well-Architected best practices that we shared at the Summit in our blog here.
It truly was a diverse and exciting event, with over 65 sessions and many customer stories showcasing innovations in the cloud. If you missed the event, you can view the keynote sessions here.
If you're interested in all things AWS, or would like to discuss any of the new technologies and innovations, please feel free to drop us a line using the form below. We’d be delighted to catch up with you to discuss your current cloud projects, wherever you’re up to, and see if we can help. We'd love to hear your thoughts too!