Amazon’s cloud platform - Amazon Web Services or AWS - has been operational for the past 13 years and over this time, has over 165 features as offeringss for computer storage, database, networking, analytics, robotics, machine learning (ML), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), mobile, security, hybrid, virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR), media, and application development, deployment, and management.
Olivier Klein, Head of Emerging Technologies (Asia-Pacific and Europe), AWS, in an exclusive interaction with YourStory talks about new technologies, data security, and trends at AWS.
YourStory: How are new technologies at AWS helping clients’ businesses?
Olivier Klein: When we talk about technologies, it is not a specific list, it is about technologies that help redefine customer experiences or just improve overall operational efficiency. A big chunk of customer experience goes into data analytics - artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) space. This in turn is used in, for example, understanding voice or speech better. Thus, it is about developing a more personalised customer experience and better models around how you create better customer experiences on online platforms.
Then there is the element of actually being more operationally efficient. We provide customers with algorithms and data sets to run operations more efficiently. For example, in India we work with RedBus, which uses services like Amazon Sagemaker to build ML models on reviews and recommendations.
A lot of enterprises are looking into AWS to understand what are the services and capabilities that allow them to move faster and also reduce their costs to operate ML.
In case of Intuit, it received a 90 percent reduction at the time of deployment. This allows it to move a lot faster, but also time equals cost, thus, this is more cost effective.
YS: Have you noticed any trends in terms of organisations of particular sectors adopting AWS faster?
OK: Neither geographies nor industry verticals define the maturity or willingness of a company to try things out. Cloud Computing has the benefit that one has a tremendous flexibility of experimentation. The level of experimenting has increased because of cloud computing.
YS: What challenges are enterprises facing due to rapid change and development of technologies?
OK: For us, it is always about choice and flexibility. We give customers the flexibility to migrate from their current services to AWS and they can use our migration service. Also, in that migration process, we optimise their platform.
For example, many of our customers have asked us if we can help them with their database strategies. We provide them choices to choose the right kind of underlying technology. We provide them with the flexibility. The key point is we tell them that they can go all into AWS by completely restructuring their platform and optimising it to cloud native architecture.
A lot of startups on our website optimise for the best kind of services and architecture under AWS. We handhold them when it comes to migration.
With traditional companies we see that there is a certain amount of legacy and they have these pieces of software sitting around, that slowly need to be shifted. We offer flexibility of “lift and shift” there.
The National Australian Bank would be an example that is currently on a migration process into AWS.
YS: What kind of cloud are large enterprises using today – hybrid/ public or private?
OK: I personally believe that these terminologies do not describe how customers run in an AWS environment. If you look at the capabilities that we provide them – any kind of development at AWS actually requires a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). Our customers can run in completely private isolated network environment that if they set it up in a certain manner, can completely be disconnected from the internet.
Customers can pick and choose what kind of workload they want to run in which environment. We also have devices such as AWS Snowball that allows movement of large amounts of data by having an appliance actually shipped to the customer, loaded with data and moved to a cloud environment. It
can be used back and forth.
YS: Whenever we talk about movement of data and migration, there is always a concern about security. How is technology ensuring that an individual's identity is protected?
OK: We are always vigilant about our customers’ data and we do not actually access our customers' data at any point of time. But it is also about giving our customers the right kind of tools and services to see that they can define their security footprint that they are compliant with.
More concretely, at any given point of time at AWS, with the click of a button, a customer can have his data fully encrypted. Any change in the AWS environment, can not only be traced but also be immediately accessed against the set of rules a customer defines.
We give our customers the full flexibility to define their own requirement on how they want to set up their platform, making sure that changes are always traced and is also audited at any given point of time. Our service called Amazon Macie, if activated against a storage bucket, looks at the personally identifiable information in the buckets and immediately sends notifications that trigger immediate masking of that data. Most importantly, it is using ML learning models to understand the access partners against that data.
We have also launched AWS Control Tower to overlook multiple accounts and security settings.
YS: What are the new products launched by AWS?
Ok: Besides the Control Tower and Amazon Macie, we are doing a lot of feature iterations on the existing security services. We are continuing to add capabilities to existing services such as AWS Shield.