Cloud

How Amazon is planning for the second decade of the cloud revolution

AWS is one of leaders in public cloud, but the market is still evolving. Here's how they plan to keep innovating.

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Image: iStockphoto/lukutin77

As common as it has become in enterprise infrastructure, cloud computing is still in its infancy. At the 2016 Structure Conference in San Francisco, Amazon's Matt Wood explained how Amazon Web Services (AWS) plans to continue growing and innovating over the next 10 years.

At the time of this writing, AWS is just over 10 years old. Wood, who was the company's third employee in Europe, said that AWS has a $13 billion revenue run rate and roughly one million active customers per month.

Cloud has become "the new normal" for the way enterprises are operating, Wood said, especially over the last five years. But, that doesn't mean that AWS doesn't have its work cut out for it.

SEE: Cloud computing policy template (Tech Pro Research)

Continuing its cloud dominance starts with AWS understanding how customers currently use the cloud. Wood said that, typically, development and test environments are the first to move to the cloud. However, they are starting to see customers then begin working on new apps that are optimized for the cloud. For example, Major League Baseball (MLB) has outfitted stadiums with missile tracking systems, and they use that and AWS tools to track baseball movements and statistics, and display it on live TV.

The types of verticals that are embracing the cloud is broadening as well. In the financial sector, Capital One is running all of its mobile banking on AWS, Wood said, and the reason why is surprising. One of the main reasons Capital One is working with AWS is for security, as Wood said people from Capital One have said security is higher on AWS than through what they can accomplish in their own data centers.

Another trend that will impact cloud computing is big data—there's more data being produced and it's more complex. In on-premises deployments, you're "hitting your walls" in that you run out of storage or you can't process it quickly enough, Wood said. AWS sees big data processing, and the tools needed to accomplish it in the cloud, as a big part of the next 10 years.

Wood said that AWS believes that, in the fullness of time, most organizations won't run their own data centers. However, he said that hybrid cloud and hybrid architecture are key stepping stones. Many companies have invested a lot of money in their own infrastructure, and they want to keep getting a return on that investment.

For AWS, Wood said, they want to make all these environments accessible through a single platform. He said that AWS has made a "significant investment" in allowing users to run their infrastructure alongside AWS, allowing for the hybrid path.

As the cloud takes away the competitive differentiation of data center technology, it democratizes it for all customers, Wood said. So, small companies have access to the same data center tech that large companies do through AWS. As such, Wood said, companies are differentiating more on data than data center technology.

Overall, Wood said, AWS customers won't ever want less functionality or fewer features, so they will try to continue innovating with new tools and services as quickly as they can.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. AWS is about 10 years old, but it is important that it plans strategically for the next 10 years if it wants to maintain its leadership in the cloud space.
  2. AWS' Matt Wood believes that cloud is democratizing data center tech, so customers have to differentiate more on their use of data.
  3. While AWS wants everyone to move to the public cloud, they view hybrid cloud as a core stepping stone and they are investing in enabling it for customers.

More from the 2016 Structure Conference

About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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