AWS (Amazon Web Services) has now emerged as one of the best infrastructure-as-a-service providers for big enterprises since it is secure and stable, has a rich set of features, and a good track record for hosting critical enterprise applications. But this success isn’t strictly because of its technology. It has also become quite strategic when it comes to hiring CTOs and CIOs to sell AWS to skeptical prospective customers.
The reality was more than clear recently at a customer event where Capital One said AWS was now its predominant cloud software provider until 2022. This extends their two-year deal from last year by another five years.
Just a few years ago, AWS had been a vendor which attracted startups like Airbnb, Uber, Dollar Shave Club, etc. and a platform for developers who worked with large enterprises to test applications. Soon CIOs noticed how quickly developers were provisioning the computing power and started thinking bigger. If they were able to run production workloads through AWS, they would no longer have to run data centers.
Currently, AWS generates $13 billion per year thanks to major deals with giant corporations like Matson, Capital One, Liberty Mutual, Under Armour, and so on.
Capital One (NYSE: COP) had been building its own private cloud for some years now, but it quickly scrapped the plan when its executives realized that public cloud services offered better computing systems without the headache of support or maintenance. AWS was considered a worthy platform in this regard.
Capital One is hoping to reduce the data enter footprint from eight facilities in 2014 to three in 2018. This is going to allow thousands of engineers focus on creating digital banking services, using machine capabilities to meet consumer preferences better.
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Some CIOs praise AWS’s capability to assist them in getting applications running quickly while reducing their capacity to match cadence.
Agility, speed, and time to market are table stakes for cloud services. AWS is so attractive because it has been around a while. It’s been 10 years, and they have a proven track record hosting enterprises. Certification programs and a rich partner ecosystem with cloud software helps as well. It is leading-edge, feels very safe, and offers a lot of help to customers readily.
There’s another reason for AWS’s success too. Recently, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) has stacked its bench quietly with ex-IT leaders who have used its technology. For example, Stephen Orban from Dow Jones became their global strategy head in 2014. Douglass Menefee left Schumacher Group and joined as CIO advisor till 2015.
Recently, they hired Adrian Cockroft as VP Cloud architecture this October. Cockroft was a wizard during his time at Netflix where he overlooked the creation of various open source tools which managed virtual servers in the native architecture of the cloud. Today Netflix’s entire business is operated on AWS.