Cloud imperative for companies to remain agile, says AWS

Both enterprise and startups can benefit from the cloud, enabling employees to become more innovative, says Amazon Web Services

Experimenting in the cloud without fear of failure can encourage a culture of innovation and increase agility was the message at AWS re:Invent 2013.

The show at The Venetian, Las Vegas, attracted 8,000 developers and integrators.

Andy Jassy, senior vice president of AWS, said increased agility has been the number one reason to use the cloud.

“This day and age you are at a disadvantage if you cannot move fast. Enterprises cannot afford to be slow as the startups can be and are just as fast nowadays,” he said.

Jassy explained that in the past it could take weeks to get a new infrastructure and that you would be the one living with the collateral damage if something failed: “In the cloud you can spin up loads of instances and if it doesn’t work just give it back to us. You can spin up a 2TB database and spin it down when you are finished.

“It creates a culture of innovation. You can experiment often and fail without risk. How do I get more of my employees to be more innovative and create for my customers? The cloud. Employees at enterprises want to create as much as startups, it’s just the infrastructure holding them back. It’s not just a small group of people at the top coming up with the ideas anymore,” added Jassy.

Stephen Orban, chief technology officer at Dow Jones, said the company plans to migrate 75% of its infrastructure over to AWS in the next three years, to enable the company to become more agile.

The news firm has 40 data centres in four continents: “We plan to get that 40 down to six. Managing all these servers takes time away from building services for our customers and getting our journalism out to the world.

Orban said Dow Jones will migrate 3000 applications over to AWS by January 2015, which it estimates will save the company $100m in global infrastructure costs.

Jeff Smith, chief executive of Suncorp Business Services, and customer of AWS, said: “Pre-assumption is a trap. It is not usually a constraint of time or money, but a constraint of thought.

“Aim for success not for perfection. If you do not you will miss out on the ability to learn new things in life.”

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