Key takeaways from the AWS Summit Online EMEA

We recently attended the AWS Summit Online EMEA - a place for the AWS community to learn, be inspired and share the latest news and successes on the AWS Cloud. Over 3 days, we heard so many incredible stories from AWS customers and innovators that are taking advantage of cloud technology to transform business, lives and societies. 

Here I’ll provide my key insights and takeaways across the Summit.

Benefits of cloud migration

There is a current wave (some would say tsunami) of cloud adoption in the industry - we are seeing more and more organisations using cloud technology to innovate more quickly and more frequently to meet the changing expectations of the customer - this is likely accelerated by the Covid pandemic as businesses adapt to stay relevant and ahead of their competitors.

In addition, adopting cloud technology can drive improved security, scalability, cost optimisation and availability.

For example, AWS Serverless technology is helping to significantly reduce cost at home retailer Dunelm where the monthly cost to run its platform has been reduced by £20K per month and at food delivery service Gousto where it saw a 10X upturn in website traffic due to Covid but no downtime and minimal cost increase.

There has also been  a big theme of application modernisation over the past year as companies look to modernise their entire estate to create a better customer experience before migrating to the cloud. Amazon highlighted that application modernisation is critical to the success of any modern cloud strategy as only cloud native apps can take full advantage of cloud benefits. 

Challenges of cloud migration

However it was acknowledged that whilst the rate of cloud adoption is rising at unprecedented levels, the vast majority of customers are still on premises and are only starting their journey to the cloud. 

And a lack of access to talent and skills is the biggest challenge businesses face when moving from on premises to the cloud and is hindering digital innovation.

In addition, AWS recognises that helping customers improve their culture (for instance building a modern cloud-first engineering team) is as important as adopting the right technology skills to drive success.

How these challenges are being addressed

The way customers are engaging with suppliers is changing along with the move to the cloud. Many enterprise customers want to be liberated from outsourcing models - to free themselves from the limitations of long-term reliance on 3rd parties and open up to new concepts that a partnership approach with suppliers can bring.

There is a trend towards businesses creating ‘ecosystems’ of partners that can support their business goals and long-term growth, innovating through outcome based models where agile is at the heart of delivery.

Moreover, customers are now seeing greater success by breaking down their migration / modernisation / data center exit project into smaller agile pieces of work to make it easier to create a business case and prove success. This also allows for continual improvement and shorter feedback loops to drive better outcomes. 

Innovation and the future of technology

Amazon shared some fascinating insights into how businesses are tackling the growing need to innovate and its own leadership principles to accelerate innovation. 

Businesses need to be fast, agile and innovative if they want to remain competitive in the long term. They are using technology to fuel experimentation and choosing cloud for speed and agility; it's now easier than ever for organisations to test new ideas and deliver new products without taking on huge costs and risks

Fintech’s are adopting cloud services to drive greater customer choice whilst adhering to regulations, retailers are using AR, VR, AI and rich data insights to provide an enhanced customer experience and maintain market share. And contact centers and logistics suppliers are using cloud technology to offer improved customer service and efficient last mile delivery solutions.

Amazon’s key leadership principle that pervades the business is ‘Customer Obsession’ - starting with the customer and working backwards. During the Summit they shared their five ingredients they recommend leaders should use to accelerate innovation:

  • Resilience  - create and maintain an agile culture, respect to systems, culture and processes.
  • Speed - be bold, capitalize on new opportunities. 
  • Complexity is the enemy - start small, build fast, create small autonomous teams that scale
  • Data - use data to inform all decisions, use data to test assumptions and iterate
  • Sustainability - understand the impact and the role business can play on behalf of the global community. 

During the last Innovation Day of the Summit, Amazon showcased the future of technology and how innovative companies are adopting cloud technology to power a sustainable future. 

From 100% carbon neutral supersonic flights being built in the USA, to creating a sustainable connected smart city in Japan. From using drones to identify and tackle malaria in India to creating sustainable space travel and working in space, it's exciting to see how technology is being used to tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges. 

The key messages for success are still the same however -  adopt a culture of continuous improvement to optimise design and implementation, take advantage of data to offer deeper insights and a better customer experience, start with the customer and work back.

How to get started

Across the Summit, the alignment with the Codurance approach was clear - start small, prove the value and scale. Modernising apps to take advantage of the cloud is critical to success. An agile and continuous improvement mindset will accelerate innovation. And a partnership-style relationship between customer and supplier and an outcome-based approach creates greater success.

We were inspired to see these messages delivered by AWS and look forward to partnering with many more customers on their modernisation journey to the cloud.

We would love to show you how Codurance is partnering with businesses like yours to accelerate your modernisation ambitions. Talk to our team at