Innovation ahead: A look back at AWS re:Invent 2022
December 15, 2022
December 15, 2022
AWS re:Invent 2022, the 11th installment of this one-of-a-kind cloud event, is a wrap and I wanted to share a few reflections on the event—one that was highly successful from about every standpoint, but especially from so many high-profile developments, announcements and amazing client stories.
Big numbers: One of the reasons I was so looking forward to this major gathering of the global cloud community is because I anticipated being back to pre-COVID numbers. And we were—50,000+ came together in Las Vegas for an exciting mix of keynote announcements, deep-dive learning sessions, and training and certification opportunities. Another estimated 300,000 tuned in digitally. Yes, the strong interest in cloud is alive and well. As AWS CEO Adam Selipsky put it, although there’s definitely uncertainty in the air—and some are thinking about slowing down—Adam says no: “Now’s the time to lean in harder.” I could not agree more and that was the same message I heard from every client I met with.
Commitment to innovation: AWS itself is not scaling back on their investment in innovation. As they said, “We are investing heavily in innovation in a way that you cannot match on-premises; beware getting left behind.” In the words of Amazon CFO Richard Puccio, AWS has committed to a “$10 billion year-over-year increase in technology infrastructure, primarily to support the rapid growth, innovation and continued expansion of our AWS footprint.” There are not many companies that can commit that much to their own technology estate.
Velocity!: I’m really excited about the announcement from Accenture at AWS re:Invent about “Velocity,” a platform from Accenture and AWS that lets companies spend less time focusing on cloud complexities and more time creating real business value. It can compress cloud-enabled business transformation up to 50% faster. It includes accelerators that make innovation easier, a fabric that ensures fast technology adoption and activators that allow seamless delivery. Security, repeatability, automation and flexibility are all built in with industry-specific solutions at its core.
With Velocity, companies can innovate faster, build better and spend smarter.
AWS Supply Chain: Another big innovation announced at the conference was AWS Supply Chain—a new solution that helps businesses increase supply chain visibility to make faster, more informed decisions that mitigate risks, reduce costs and improve customer experiences. Every company has some type of supply chain, so this resonates with us all. As vice president of AWS Supply Chain Diego Pantoja-Navajas noted, many customers are challenged by the heavy lifting required in connecting data between different supply chain solutions. “AWS Supply Chain aggregates this data,” says Diego, “and [offers] visual, interactive dashboards that provide the insights and recommendations customers need to take actions toward more resilient supply chains.”
Running simulations: The AWS re:Invent keynote from Amazon CTO Dr. Werner Vogels is always a highlight of the event. This year, Warner had a lot to say about AWS’s new managed compute service AWS SimSpace Weaver, which is bringing spatial simulation to every industry, allowing customers to more easily simulate everything from traffic patterns to public transportation networks to supply chain infrastructure. Across every industry and function, this kind of simulation capability is going to help leaders make better business decisions.
GSI Partner of the Year: Here’s my horn-tooting about Accenture: We once again were awarded with 2022 Global Systems Integrator (GSI) Partner of the Year Award - Global, which was our 12th award this year from AWS. This is a reflection of our long partnership with AWS and all the great work we do together. For example, our work with pharma giant Merck was a subject of a session I participated in at AWS re:Invent. AWS and Accenture worked with Merck to calculate the real value Merck gained by driving their journey to the cloud against the number of applications retired, modernized, or migrated. This work has helped drive new capabilities for business innovation and meaningful patient impact for the company.
The power of partnerships: From a broader perspective, AWS re:Invent saw a heavy emphasis on the importance of partnerships to the way all of us work with AWS. Here’s just one example: Epic Games, best known, perhaps, for its wildly successful online game Fortnite. Epic announced that its RealityScan product, powered by AWS, is now available as a free download on iOS. Epic cost-efficiently scales RealityScan to support tens of thousands of creators—turning images into digital models of real-world objects that can be used in simulations, architecture, automotive, and film/TV projects. This is, of course, another example of the simulation capability I mentioned above.
Sustainability: I’ll close with a short note about the ubiquitous presence of sustainability issues and solutions at AWS re:Invent. From the very start—AWS CEO Adam Selipsky’s opening keynote—environmental issues were front and center. Selipsky has made sustainability, including climate change and clean energy, a top priority at both Amazon and AWS. Water availability is one of the big crisis areas here. MIT researchers estimate that, by 2050, 52 percent of the world’s projected 9.7 billion people will live in water-stressed areas as a result of climate change. AWS has pledged that it will return more water in communities than it uses in its cloud operations by 2030. AWS is also committed to power operations with 100 percent renewable energy by 2025. AWS is doing this while continuing to innovate at a crazy pace.
Well, that’s my perspective on AWS re:Invent 2022. What’s yours? I’d love to hear your thoughts and reflections. If there’s one theme I saw bridging everything that happened during the conference, it’s enterprise value. The cloud conversation now is not just about cloud economics but also about the incredible business value being created from our cloud solutions. Because of all the amazing cloud innovations and new products, companies can now start with a business challenge or opportunity and work backwards to the enabling technologies. That’s a far cry from thinking about the cloud only from a tech perspective. Onward!