AWS re:Invent, the major global cloud conference from Amazon Web Services (AWS), was held virtually and in-person in Las Vegas from November 29 to December 3. It was the 10th edition of re:Invent and the first one with AWS’ new CEO Adam Selipsky at the helm.
CloudBlue has attended the event for years, but it was my fifth time attending personally -- and it did not disappoint!
There were a slew of cool new products and updates announced, while keynote presenters exalted leading-edge industry trends including a stronger embrace of artificial intelligence and machine learning, big data analytics, faster chips, cybersecurity, automation, more developer-friendly tools, sustainability, and quantum computing.
The following is a recap of the most important trends and technologies discussed at AWS re:Invent 2021 that are transforming the cloud landscape at an unprecedented pace and scale.
Need for continuous security improvement
Security is fast becoming one of the most critical areas of focus for every organization. As the CEO of AWS mentioned, it is pivotal in the data journey of any business.
“You need to have complete control over where your data sits, who has access to it, and what can be done with it at every step,” Selipsky said.
Meanwhile, Stephen Schmidt, chief information security officer at AWS, encouraged enterprises to adopt a “holistic” approach to security, saying, “You don’t want to secure just one thing or one edge—or use one technique or one approach.”
AWS unveiled new security features and products during the event to help secure everything from infrastructure to applications to the app development process. Most of them revolved around bringing more automation to security processes, new capabilities for secure access to data, improved security for containers, and enhanced network and Internet of Things (IoT) security.
Industry experts argue that security is turning into a huge driver for cloud and is now a major incentive for businesses to move to the cloud—beyond lower operating expenses, better end-user experience, and faster time to market.
Cloud security can help businesses achieve better results for a wide range of reasons. Using cloud solutions, companies can deploy security capabilities and controls in minutes or hours. The technology also allows them to embed security into their existing solutions and processes across different departments in a frictionless manner. What’s more, automation of processes enables organizations to scale more easily, quickly, and efficiently. Cloud solutions are also cost-effective thanks to baked-in security and proactively prevent security incidents.
The increased importance of security in the cloud space is reflected in the fact that the global cloud security market is expected to grow from $34.5 billion in 2020 to $68.5 billion by 2025, at a compound annual growth rate of 14.7%. The major driving factors include the accelerated enterprise migration to the cloud, the increasing number of sophisticated cyberattacks, and the growing need for compliance with new government regulations.
Since its inception, CloudBlue has prioritized security and is committed to remaining at the forefront of advances in this sphere.
CloudBlue PSA is one of our solutions where security shines the brightest. The reason is managed service providers (MSPs) are prime targets for cybercriminals as many businesses rely on them to remotely manage their operations.
An efficient professional services automation (PSA) tool like CloudBlue PSA can help MSPs overcome cybersecurity challenges in two main ways. First, it helps consolidate and centralize data from disparate systems into one secure place. This eliminates the need for using multiple servers and data storage points, thus reducing the likelihood of a cybersecurity breach. Secondly, it allows for integration with popular solutions that MSPs use, including accounting and remote monitoring and management programs, and most importantly, cybersecurity software.
CloudBlue PSA not only helps MSPs prevent data breaches, but also helps them bring the situation under control immediately if a cybersecurity incident occurs. Clients are quickly notified of any breaches through the CloudBlue PSA interface, which enables them to address protection issues and bring data back online faster.
Growing importance of data-driven insights
The increasing importance of data and data-driven insights was emphasized during the announcement of new serverless options for Amazon Redshift, Amazon MSK, and Amazon EMR that “make it easier to analyze data at any scale without having to configure, scale, or manage the underlying infrastructure.”
One panel interestingly explored the roles of data and the cloud in achieving enterprise sustainability goals, discussing how businesses can manage the data needed to measure and share their progress on initiatives in areas such as energy efficiency, sustainable agriculture, and sustainable transportation.
The emphasis on the power of data analytics is justified given that businesses are looking for insights that can give them an edge in today’s highly competitive market. Insights essentially drive smart decisions, allowing companies to avoid costly mistakes, reduce costs, better utilize their resources, take advantage of opportunities, and become more profitable.
Around 90% of business professionals and enterprise analytics say data and analytics are key to their organization’s digital transformation initiatives, and businesses that use big data can increase their profit by 8%. One-third of industry professionals believe the right technologies for data collection and analysis are crucial for a better understanding of customers, and insight-driven businesses are growing at an average of 30% each year. They are predicted to take $1.8 trillion annually from their less-informed industry competitors by the end of 2021.
When it comes to data, perhaps the biggest benefit of using cloud solutions is that they help break down information silos and centralize data through integration capabilities, which allows for faster access to insights.
Another advantage is that cloud computing facilitates collaboration between team members, which helps generate insights based on a full picture of data across various departments—all without the need for IT involvement.
Data lies at the heart of all the solutions that CloudBlue offers, particularly CloudBlue PSA. CloudBlue PSA essentially collates the data from disparate systems into a single-pane-of-glass view where MSPs and their customers can visit to understand everything from performance metrics such as revenue, cost, utilization, and profit margins to service-level agreements, billing schedules, ticketing, and contract profitability.
By turning data into valuable actionable insights, CloudBlue PSA helps MSPs make more informed decisions in important areas such as business strategies, resource allocation, and resource use optimization, which could eventually lead to an overall improvement in the team’s performance.
Rising popularity of verticalization
AWS has for years been developing its industry and vertical strategy with solutions serving big markets ranging from financial services to telecom to energy. At re:Invent, the CEO of AWS revealed they are adamant about tailoring their services to industry-specific use cases in order to power new customer experiences.
“We’ve launched targeted services across a wide range of industries,” said Selipsky, citing Amazon FinSpace as an example to prepare financial data. The company is also launching the Goldman Sachs Financial Cloud for Data, which combines Goldman Sachs’s data with AWS Data Exchange and FinSpace integration.
As the cloud matures, the case for verticalization, including in the MSP realm, becomes stronger. The reason is that industries are becoming more niche and competitive and businesses now require service providers to serve as their strategic partners and trusted business and technology consultants.
In-depth knowledge and understanding of a specific industry enables MSPs to identify their clients’ main pain points more accurately and tailor solutions to their specific needs. This means they will be able to deliver sustainable value to their customers while making profit themselves. In fact, a study from IDC and Microsoft says 82% of partners believe a vertical focus is important or very important for their growth.
The cloud’s bright future
At re:Invent, there was a preview of a tool called AWS Mainframe Modernization, which is designed for businesses who are seriously considering doing away with their legacy computing departments.
Selipsky said it can cut the time to move workloads to the cloud by as much as two-thirds. And once they get there, he added, “We’ve seen customers reduce their cost by up to 70% or more after migrating.”
This solution, like all the other announcements and discussions at the conference, pointed to exciting prospects for the cloud industry, which is forecast to grow from $445.3 billion in 2021 to $947.3 billion by 2026.
As highlighted by speakers, cloud computing is much more than a source of cheaper and better IT infrastructure. It is redefining the world of business as it brings data, team members, partners, systems, and processes together on a single streamlined platform, accelerating innovation and transformation.
There are many reasons why businesses need to be leveraging the cloud to achieve sustainable growth. These include flexibility at scale, improved security, more efficient collaboration, higher employee productivity and satisfaction, agility, faster time to market, automation, ability to easily launch new products and expand into new markets, and better disaster recovery.
CloudBlue solutions help businesses in all these areas and more. Whether you want to simplify and unify all your channel operations to reduce overhead costs or launch a secure digital marketplace with the end-to-end capability to deliver products, solutions, and services to your customers, CloudBlue can make it happen.
In particular, it enables you to resell third-party cloud products and services combined with your own offerings. Using one platform, easily onboard partners to resell your products to create a multichannel business, grow and retain customers, and quickly release new recurrent revenue products and services to your customers while decreasing your time to revenue.
Contact us to learn more about how CloudBlue can help you make the best of cloud solutions and be part of the promising future awaiting the cloud.
About the Author: Rajesh "Raj" Marar, Executive Director is responsible for business, technology strategy and sales growth for Harmony Business Systems, a CloudBlue Company. Raj joined the Ingram Cloud organization in 2017 as executive director for IaaS responsible for products and services. He launched an IaaS Center of Excellence (COE) for services to accelerate cloud adoption, migration and optimization at scale to help Ingram Micro achieve the Azure MSP Expert designation and to drive exponential growth for IaaS. Raj is an executive with 25 plus years of experience as a leader driving digital transformation. Prior to joining the Ingram Micro Cloud team, Raj worked for the Ingram Micro Global IS team where he had taken on roles with increasing responsibility over a ten-year span. He served as Executive Director for global platforms to lead an application modernization & data center virtualization, consolidation, automation and migration initiatives. He also led several major transformation initiatives for global ERP (SAP) deployment, Middleware, Partner Connectivity and E-commerce to help build a robust scalable & cost-effective platform to support innovation and growth. Follow Rajesh Marar on Twitter, LinkedIn or Website