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EVP - Global Head of Cloud Transformation
AWS Service Announcements are often an indicator of where the cloud industry is headed. They set the tone and sometimes stretch the imagination (remember Amazon Braket?). This article is an attempt to put the announcements in the perspective of the customers we serve. You can also read my observations on last year’s announcement here to understand how far we’ve come along as an industry.
In this article, I set out to analyze this year’s announcements and what it means to our customers in the background of COVID-19. This means less marveling at the coolness of the technology (which is hard to resist, I admit) and more context on how moving to the cloud can address a few of the problems that have to come to be, courtesy – the extended run we’re giving on-premise technologies.
Firstly, this year’s keynote packed several bold punches and was thoroughly entertaining. The adoption journey narrated by customers made it highly authentic, relatable, and humane.
Andy’s take on the 8 leadership principles (covered in detail by my esteemed colleague, Jim Francis here was quite illuminating. Equally important was the fact that only 4% of global IT spend is on cloud. This market is only expected to grow, and it is exciting to be part of this movement. One thing that really stood out in Andy’s keynote was the criticality of gaining speed. Speed is very crucial, especially now, during COVID-19, more than ever. Speed is not about adopting new, cool technologies faster. It is about acquiring critical capabilities to serve customers faster, better, and cost-effectively.
Gartner says 69% of Boards of Directors have accelerated their digital business initiatives following COVID-19 disruption. The results of earlier digital transformation projects are far from impressive. An IDC estimate states nearly 70% of the investments spent on digital transformation doesn’t yield results (a staggering $900 billion out of $1.3 trillion wasted in 2018). How do we pick up speed from here?
Cloud may have an answer. The pandemic has made it clear that cloud computing is the vehicle for digital transformation. It has also shown us why we are better off with a holistic cloud computing strategy rather than adopting a DIY approach for managing the technology landscape. However, businesses are yet to shrug off traditional approaches to digital transformation. We cannot repeat the same methods and expect different results now.
To put things into perspective, a future digital enterprise (hybrid cloud) will look like the illustration below. There are many ways to look at this, but the best one is a simple mental model to visualize services in a customer’s context. If you don’t put the service announcements in the context of the problems that your customers are trying to solve, they are just streams of yearly announcements that will be spoken for a while and forgotten.
Now let’s apply the lens of how these services help us move the needle towards building a hybrid digital enterprise. The article here covers ten key services out of Andy Jassy’s week one announcements with one notable exception (support for macOS).
Amazon Connect is one of my favorite AWS services, and it is getting only better.
With Amazon Lookout for Vision and Equipment, and Amazon Panorama, one can imagine a digital twin for the manufacturing sector taking a significant leap forward. Also, add Amazon Monitron that can send alerts based on abnormal equipment behavior to your shopping cart.
There are several announcements in this area. And indeed, these are not for the technologically uninitiated. The one that caught my attention is:
Parting notes: Those of us fortunate enough to have attended re:Invent in person during the past years missed the buzz and opportunity to compare notes with colleagues and discussions over long dinners. I cannot help but reminisce the busy week in Las Vegas last year. I urge everyone to stay safe and wish a happy holiday season. Let’s hope that the next re:Invent will be an in-person event full of vibrance!
Senthilkumar Ravindran is Executive Vice President and Global Head of xLabs at Virtusa Corp. He brings close to 20 years of unparalleled experience in Architecture Design, Business Consulting, Delivery Management and Solutions Sales. After working with Top Tier BFSI clients, Senthil has acquired a deep understanding of fintech disruptors and accelerators from both technological and business model standpoints.
A veteran in the fintech space, Senthil has started his career in the consultant role at TATA Consultancy Services before moving on to Polaris Consulting. Throughout his career, Senthil was elbows-deep in several strategic initiatives. He was instrumental in building the sales capacity planning project using non-Linear optimization techniques. He led the research and development of critical solutions for credit and market risk and regulation in investment banking and he took active part in the strategic transformation programme, bridging a key gap in cash management modernization for a leading UK bank.
As xLabs’ global leader, Senthil is setting new standards for banking system transformation via cutting edge Digital Technologies such as Blockchain, Cloud, Analytics, Mobile and Social. His focus is on re-imagining Banking and assisting clients in solving pressing business and technological problems. His motivation comes from the unshakable belief that positive and substantial business disruption happens when new technologies blend flawlessly with the right Digital Transformation approach.
Senthil has an avid interest in cryptocurrencies and disruptive technologies.
He holds an Engineer’s Degree, Electrical & Electronics from the Shanmugha Arts, Science, Technology and Research Academy in India.
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Read Jim Francis' insightful recap of Andy Jassy's CEO Keynote from AWS re:Invent