There’s no better place to hold a conference than Vegas, baby! From the world-class restaurants and bars to the dynamic people, Vegas has a vibe you can’t find anywhere else.
No wonder it continues to be the backdrop for AWS re:Invent – Amazon’s annual customer and partner conference. As one of the industry’s largest events, re:Invent provides a valuable look at what’s to come in the cloud, regardless of whether you’re an AWS user, prospect, partner, competitor, student, investor, analyst or reporter.
As I attended sessions, walked the floor and interacted with attendees, here are three key observations I made:
1. The cloud has grown up.
Talk about growth! The event has more than tripled in size in just five years – reflecting the prevalence of the cloud itself. As Andy Jassy, Amazon Web Services CEO said in his keynote, if the cloud was the new normal in 2014, by 2015 it had evolved into a technology “essential to an organization’s destiny.” Today, the cloud has become a true enabler for business agility and speed, and (if you dare agree with Jassy) immortality itself.
We’ve witnessed this evolution first hand at OL, as the cloud has grown from a niche, disruptive technology to watch, to one of our agency’s core practices. One of our first clients in cloud computing was Appirio, a systems integrator in the cloud’s early days. Our initial strategy was centered on market education. We ran popular campaigns and contests around “What is the Cloud?” and helped launch thousands of t-shirts at Dreamforce. We went on to focus on the business case for cloud computing, to represent Model Metrics, acquired by Salesforce, Successfactors and others, and built our thriving cloud practice into one third of the agency.
2. It’s high time to innovate or die.
More than ever, traditional long-standing companies like McDonald’s are striving to keep fresh by adapting to the cloud. This entails reinvention of existing business models to leverage analytics, and ensuring that all the right data is accessible when needed.
Indeed, our own clients cater to customers who are leveraging the cloud to stay ahead of the curve. For example, Sumo Logic’s cloud-native, machine data analytics service is used by Scholastic Inc., the children’s publishing, education and media company, to build, run and secure its AWS cloud as it moves away from its data centers. By moving its book orders online, Scholastic has experienced many benefits including corporate growth of 10 percent year over year.
3. The cloud is coming to a living room near you.
As AI tools like Alexa enter the home, the cloud is becoming a consumer technology, too. Smart home devices in the living room can read us the news, answer questions and more, and it’s all made possible by cloud computing. As AI and the IoT become a closer part of our everyday lives, so does the cloud. I for one, cannot wait to play with my Echo Dot (Amazon gave one out to every attendee)!
Danielle brings energy, enthusiasm and a strong team-player mentality to her role as a director at Offleash. Her accounts include Sencha, Snowflake Computing, Sumo Logic and Vena Solutions. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.