On 31st October we attended the AWS Transformation Day at the Brewery, London. “Transformation” is probably one of the most overused phrases in the IT industry at the moment, but it is one of the most appropriate and descriptive terms for what AWS and cloud computing stand for.

We’ve attended many AWS events over the years and have seen first-hand how they have transformed both the IT landscape and the businesses that have chosen to adopt cloud strategies.

It’s interesting to compare how the conversations at these events have developed over time. Four or five years ago, many delegates were asking “What is cloud?” or “How do I start using cloud services?”. However, more recently discussions have moved on to “We have adopted a cloud first strategy and need some help”.  This reflects the general maturity and acceptance in many businesses that they need to embrace the change and opportunity that cloud offers and just get on and do it.

Today, even more risk-averse sectors such as Financial Services are being transformed and are adopting their own public cloud strategies. Some, such as Starling Bank, have fully embraced cloud technologies to create a bank that's run in the cloud and built using an agile development process. Anne Boden, CEO of Starling Bank, described in her presentation how they built a scalable and secure bank in the cloud.

Image credit: AWS on Air

As a fully regulated bank that customers can trust with their money and the regulator can trust with their guarantee, Starling Bank is, without doubt, a challenger in the industry. It was amazing to hear the stories of operational efficiency and agility that Anne was quoting as a direct result of their cloud first strategy. With more FinTech challengers emerging to transform the financial services industry, traditional financial institutions will increasingly look to the public cloud to stay ahead in this changing competitive landscape.

Innovation was a core theme running through all sessions during the day. Paul Hannan, CTO at Scotia Gas Networks, shared his tips on how to successfully champion cloud in your organisation. He described Scotia’s own journey as they shifted and transformed their business through cloud in order to achieve their corporate strategy. 

He explained ‘It’s not a technical vanity project, it’s not about delivering IT solely faster, it’s really about enabling that transformational change’.

Retail is never far behind when discussing innovation and digital transformation. Doug Gardener, CIO at River Island, talked about how and why they are rapidly moving to the cloud. Cloud technologies are enabling them to change from a traditional bricks and mortar company to a leading digital retailer. Through cloud, River Island is able to adapt to the latest consumer trends and provide their customers with a fast and satisfying shopping experience, creating the store of the future.

Image credit: AWS on Air

My final takeaway from the event was a quote from the keynote that “The launch is just the starting line and not the finish line.” No matter where you are on your transformation journey, still warming up, at the starting line or over the line and sprinting towards your goal remember that this is just the beginning and you need to keep innovating and transforming to keep yourself relevant.

I hope you found the day diverse and exciting and came away with some new ideas. If you did we’d be delighted to catch up with you to discuss how we can help you with any current or planned cloud projects.  Please get in touch using the form below.

aws, cloud, Digital Transformation, Security, Strategic IT, Agility