AWS London Summit 2017: A meeting of the faithful

PAC attended Amazon’s 2017 London Summit last month, an exhilarating event that at times was truly a meeting of the faithful.

That description is justified by the real and evident enthusiasm of the attendees, which was several notches up the energy scale from other large events held by other large vendors (usually in the very same hall). Note #1 to self: many AWS Summit attendees are developers, and developers really do seem to love AWS.

A key theme at the event was enterprise adoption, a point underlined by managing director Gavin Jackson’s description of AWS as “the fastest growing multi-billion enterprise IT company in the world”.  AWS was clearly keen to provide all the evidence necessary to demonstrate that its services are enterprise-ready. 

In some ways it was surprising that AWS even needed to make this case, since AWS clearly dominates the public cloud market, with sales up 44% year-on-year. Note #2 to self: AWS is now all about the enterprise - a market where even AWS has to work hard.

A further theme running through the event was scale. From the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) managing 33 million annual vehicle tax renewals, to Deliveroo optimising 20,000 riders’ delivery schedules in real time through big data analytics, and Ocado’s use of robot swarms and the world’s densest mobile network to automatically pick 50 item grocery orders within a few minutes, scale matters. 

As you’d expect at an AWS event, the enabling technology for each example was of course AWS. But in all fairness it’s hard to imagine that traditional infrastructure would ever have been cost-effective to deliver solutions at the scale of these examples. Note #3 to self: In cloud, scale is indeed a big deal (weak pun intended).

In summary, an enthusiastically supported event, that underlined AWS’s focus on servicing enterprise needs at scale - and with AWS’s current levels of innovation and momentum, it’s hard to see anyone who could steal a lead on them.