(Psst...want to get straight to the sessions? Check out the AWS re:Invent Session Planner here! Check out the Contino-sponsored Financial Services Industry Day here! Book a meeting with our cloud gurus here! Now on to the enterprise cloud adoption turning point…)

What has changed between re:Invent 2016 and 2017?

I’ve been doing enterprise DevOps and cloud transformations for quite a few years now, and I sense that re:Invent 2017 arrives at a turning point in enterprise cloud adoption.

I think this is the moment when all the large, highly-regulated enterprises that weren’t in the first wave of cloud adoption can really start to benefit from the lessons of those that were.

Early enterprise adopters of AWS (like Netflix) will certainly have gained game-changing flexibility and scalability from the cloud, but would have made mistakes along the way that made others hesitate, including:

  • Migrating legacy applications that aren’t ready

  • Overspending on instances

  • Not restructuring teams and departments to align with how the cloud works

  • Not changing software delivery mindsets

  • Not developing for cloud-native

  • Not getting proper boardroom buy-in

As a result, these early adopters would have incurred costs that could have been avoided. But many of the ‘unknown unknowns’ of enterprise cloud adoption would also have been stumbled upon by this first wave. Questions like:

  • I run a bank, is my enterprise customer data truly secure?

  • I run a hospital, can we reliably run mission-critical apps in production?

  • I run a trading platform, can I compete in terms of latency with on-prem?

Concrete, repeatable answers are even emerging to pivotal cultural and political questions:

  • How do I break free of the legacy processes and thinking that permeate my organization?

  • How do I break free from my dependency on legacy system integrators?

  • How do I reorient my company culture around experimentation and innovation?

These unknown unknowns are increasingly known knowns.

Consequently, we have seen a wave of enterprise cloud adoption case studies emerge in the public domain attesting to the viability of large, highly-regulated organizations deploying major production workloads or rapidly innovating with automated CI/CD pipelines – all in AWS.

This is particularly noticeable in the finance industry (check out this Computer Weekly piece on DevOps and cloud transformation at Allianz, for example).

So, why should enterprises attend re:Invent 2017?

re:Invent 2017 will be an ideal opportunity for just those embattled, I-want-to-but-how-do-I-make-a-business-case enterprise decision-makers to hear straight from the horse’s mouth (and, more importantly, the horse’s customers) how far AWS has come in terms of core enterprise concerns (security, compliance, agility, cost), not to mention higher-level services (data, machine learning, AI, etc.).  

At re:Invent 2017 there will be huge technical education opportunities:

  • Educate yourself on technical best practices during +1000 breakout sessions on topics such as cloud architecture, continuous deployment, monitoring and management, performance, security, migration and more

  • Find answers to development questions and learn technical tips and tricks from AWS architects, engineers, product leads and expert users

  • Valuable hands-on experience that can be brought back to your organization from day-long technical bootcamps, self-paced labs and hackathons

  • Expanded Expo hours that make it easier than ever to connect with innovators in the partner community.

But it’s also a huge opportunity for companies to learn from other’s direct experience of how AWS has changed their business model for the better, as well as really cement their understanding of:

  • The insanely compelling business case for the public cloud

  • How to bypass legacy thinking and culture

  • The breadth and depth of AWS’s range of services

  • The ways of working that integrate most effectively with it: DevOps and Continuous Delivery.

What I Expect to See This Year at re:Invent

Here are a few of my thoughts about what we can expect at re:Invent this year!

  1. The conversation is moving away from security and towards lock-in as a more specific enterprise concern.

AWS has done an excellent job providing layer after layer of evidence that their security is not only tight as drum but probably a whole lot better (and more compliant) than most organizations could achieve on-premises. So, people are now drawn by the services higher up the stack (e.g. big data, AI, machine learning) but are wary of the trade-off between being able to easily access these services on top of their IaaS and being locked-in to AWS.

However, re:Invent 2017 should demonstrate what a huge lead Amazon has in these areas compared to competitors, which should swing the balance of the conversation in their favour.

I predict that after re:Invent users will pounce on these higher-level services as it becomes increasingly clear how much value they can provide in terms of innovation.

2. Major activity around container orchestration tool Kubernetes seems likely!

In August, AWS joined the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), the umbrella organization that is home to the Kubernetes project.

Adrian Cockcroft, Vice President of Cloud Architecture Strategy at AWS, recently commented on the reasons for joining the CNCF: “[c]loud native architectures take full advantage of on-demand delivery, global deployment, elasticity, and higher-level services. They enable huge improvements in developer productivity, business agility, scalability, availability, utilization, and cost savings.”

Cloud-native apps like Kubernetes have a natural home in the cloud: “[d]eploying applications that span multiple data centers is a relatively rare and complex-to-implement pattern, but cloud native architectures treat multi-zone and multi-region deployments as the default.”

Following AWS’s moves, much talk is afoot about a hosted/managed Kubernetes solution (maybe making it easier to run on EC2) – but this remains to be seen!

3. There will be much serverless and Lambda (as always!)

Serverless is incredibly relevant because it allows companies to skip whole generations of tooling adoption (much like containers nullified a lot of previous-generation initiatives such as configuration management).

This speaks to the aforementioned second-wave companies who can look at how first-wave companies approached cloud, then see where serverless can be used to skip a whole tranche of technical difficulty and jump straight into adding value and innovating.

At the time of writing 29 sessions (of the 204 currently published) relate to Lambda in some way!

4. It will simply be bigger than ever.

Up to 50,000 people are expected to attend. To provide for this cloud-crazy horde, AWS has got more venues, more content (over 1,000 sessions), more hackathons, more bootcamps, more workshops, and more certification opportunities than ever before!

5. Contino is sole sponsor of the Financial Services Industry Day!

Contino will be hosting a whole day of expert finance-specific talks and break-out sessions the day before re:Invent officially begins, including a 300-person drinks reception in The Venetian Hotel. We’ll be inviting a host of experts and customers to share their experiences using AWS to accelerate innovation in the financial industry.    

We will reveal all the details about this as soon as we are allowed...including a Tesla-related give-away!

P.S. Contino has just been awarded the AWS FSI Competency! This competency recognizes the extent of Contino’s expertise in this complex and highly-regulated vertical, as well as the ongoing success of our work on the ground at Allianz as well as other Global 100/250 financial services organizations. Get more details here!

Book a Meeting with Us

Are you one of the 50,000 attendees? Hit the link below to book a meeting with one of our AWS-certified DevOps and cloud gurus, either during the Financial Services Industry Day or at any point during the event!

Book a Meeting with Us

The Financial Services Industry Day will be full of break-out sessions including:

We’re happy to demonstrate Continuum, our automated framework for deploying an end-to-end CI/CD pipeline in AWS in under ten minutes, or Momentum, our battle-tested framework for large-scale enterprise DevOps and cloud adoption.

Book a Meeting!

See you in Vegas!



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Benjamin Wootton

Co-Founder and CTO

Benjamin Wootton is the Co-Founder and CTO of Contino. He has worked with tens of enterprise organisations on DevOps transformation and is a hands-on DevOps engineer with expertise in cloud and containers.

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