“Cloud is Just Better”: Key Takeaways from the AWS Summit 2018
The AWS Summit was held over two days in London from the 9th to the 10th of May 2018 and Version 1 attended as a Silver Sponsor on both days of the event.
This year at the AWS Summit in London, there were 100+ partners and 12 sessions on the pre-event day on the 9th of May. The main AWS Summit event followed on the 10th of May, which saw 12,000+ attendees, 7000+ live steam attendees on Keynote and 65+ technical sessions, as attendees sought to learn how the Cloud is accelerating innovation in businesses of all sizes.
AWS now has millions of active customers, with approximately 100k customers in the UK. In relation to the most rapidly growing services, Amazon Aurora, the MySQL-compatible database with the security, availability, and reliability of commercial databases is the fastest growing service in AWS history. Amazon DynamoDB, the fully managed proprietary NoSQL database service by AWS is now achieving a trillion transactions per day.
Did you miss the AWS Summit? Discover key takeaways in the following post as reported by Version 1 Enterprise Cloud representatives:
1. Machine Learning Moving Up a Gear
AWS has been investing in artificial intelligence for over 20 years. Machine learning (ML) algorithms drive many of the company’s internal systems. It’s also core to their customers’ experience – from the path optimization in AWS fulfilment centres, and Amazon.com’s recommendations engine, to Echo powered by Alexa, the drone initiative Prime Air, and the new retail experience Amazon Go.
At the AWS Summit Innovation Hub, there was a Builders Fair to see, touch and feel some of the most cutting edge technologies in action, from IoT to Artificial Intelligence. This area was equipped with real-life applications of these technologies and The Builders Fair placed an emphasis on innovation using Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence e.g. facial recognition and connected lawnmowers.
How does Machine Learning benefit customers and deliver real-world value? During the AWS Summit Keynote, attendees learned of many interesting examples of how Machine Learning enables customer success.
- SkinVision uses machine learning to diagnose skin problems via mobile devices. The SkinVision app users can check risky skinspots for possible skin cancer symptoms, take pictures, and track moles over time.
- Duolingo is a language-learning platform that includes a language-learning website and app, as well as a digital language proficiency assessment exam. Duolingo uses Amazon machine learning service ‘Polly’.
- Babylon is an on-demand health service that is trialling it’s service in UK and Rwanda. A doctor can perform 8000 diagnoses in a year, whereas a machine can achieve the same number in hours.
- There is an AWS machine learning service called Rekognition, which is being used to find missing children by matching photos of individuals to online databases.
2. Increasing demand for Voice Technology
Werner Hans Peter Vogels, the CTO and VP of Amazon is in charge of driving technology innovation within the company. Vogels’ section of the AWS Summit Keynote was titled “Build On”. The emphasis was on Machine Learning, Databases and Voice Interfaces such as Amazon Alexa.
AWS stated that there is a growing interest in voice technology and how it can be used to transform the business.
An example of a customer benefitting from the use of Voice Technology was Public Health England. Public Health England exists to protect and improve the nation’s health and wellbeing, and reduce health inequalities. Public Health England uses Alexa skills for new mothers who are breastfeeding.
Through Start4Life’s ‘Breastfeeding Friend’, users can ask the cloud-based platform a variety of questions about breastfeeding and receive answers tailored to the age of the baby. According to PHE, the service is the first time parents have been able to receive NHS-approved breastfeeding advice via a hands-free digital platform.
3. Ongoing Critical Demand for Specialist ICT Skills
The increasing demand for specialist ICT skills across all sectors globally is reaching crisis levels and employers have been investing heavily in resourcing talent across Europe. There are more than 350,000 open vacancies for ICT specialists across Europe according to the 2017 Global Information Security Workforce Study (GISWS).
With the pace of development and innovation occuring in modern technologies, the demand for individuals with specialist skillsets to implement, manage, run and innovate cloud technologies will only continue to grow and it remains to be seen how Europe will cope with supplying the volume of talent required.
Version 1 believes companies should be considering their potential long-term journeys to cloud now and begin to identify future talent requirements in order to be in a position to benefit from the potential transformative benefits of Cloud.
4. DevOps: People First, Technology Second
Many of the breakout sessions at the AWS Web Summit had a focus on DevOps, the highly sought after agile relationship between development and IT operations. A recurring message coming to light in sessions attended by Version 1 representatives was that DevOps is all about people and culture, and that technology is secondary. The more Developers build business applications considering how the Ops team will manage it in production, even in the early stages, the more agile and efficient the relationship will be going forward for the business.
An example given of an organisation working ahead to transform its relationships between development and IT operations is The Met Office. The Met Office has been gradually implementing a DevOps culture since 2012. The organisation now has interdisciplinary squads who continuously deliver into production.
The financial sector is also starting to embrace DevOps. Starling Bank is a great example of an organisation that ‘designs with ops in mind’. At the mobile-only bank, the developers are owners for the features they build – even in production. This incentivises the development team to create more stable and higher quality code – so that they are not the one that is woken up in the middle of the night to fix a bug.
5. “Cloud is Just Better.” – Customer Sentiments
It is safe to say that Cloud has a strong foothold in the long-term landscape of IT, with several Cloud vendors globally leading the charge in migrating and running enterprise applications and software in the Public Cloud.
IT is changing rapidly because of Cloud and according to Peter Vik of Jaguar Land Rover:
“We will see more change in the next five years than we did in the previous fifteen years.”
To give a sample of the scale of customer adoption of one AWS service alone, over 70,000 databases have now been migrated using AWS Database Migration Service (DMS).
According to the UK Ministry of Justice in the AWS Keynote presentation on Day 1 of the AWS Summit, the organisation felt that “cloud is just better”. At Version 1, our customer feedback has reflected a similar sentiment and there is an increasing preference for Cloud-deployed solutions, particular as customers are discovering the broader transformative benefits and advantages of embracing the Public Cloud as opposed to the more straightforward ‘Lift and Shift’ Cloud solutions.
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Experts in migrating and running complex enterprise applications in public cloud.
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Migrating Oracle to the Public Cloud – AWS Migration Strategies
Version 1 has specialist expertise and experience of Migrating Oracle to Public Cloud and we have published a guide on ‘Migrating Oracle to the Public Cloud – AWS Migration Strategies’ in order to offer you an insight into some of our specialist knowledge in the specific area of migrating Oracle to Amazon Web Services ahead of the Amazon Web Summit. Download the full guide here.