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'The cloud is the new normal,' Amazon Web Services executive says

Joab Jackson | Nov. 13, 2014
The cloud is no longer relegated to handling ancillary jobs, but is quickly become the base for mission critical -- or even all -- enterprise IT operations, the head of Amazon Web Services said.

The cloud is no longer relegated to handling ancillary jobs, but is quickly become the base for mission critical -- or even all -- enterprise IT operations, the head of Amazon Web Services said.

"The cloud is the new normal," said Andy Jassy, Amazon Web Services senior vice president during Wednesday's opening keynote of the company's annual Re:Invent conference in Las Vegas.

In order to test the cloud, organizations might first try using it for ancillary hosted services, Jassy said. They then might use the cloud as a launching pad for new services, rather than operating those in house, sidestepping the burden of moving legacy applications or data to a different environment. Next up for those testing the cloud might be to ramp up its use for mobile or analytic applications.

Increasingly, however, AWS is finding that organizations are moving entire data centers, as well as their entire IT operations, to the cloud, Jassy said.

An organization may have a lease coming up on a data center or need to do an expensive hardware refresh, and the pending costs or long-term commitment to infrastructure "that is kind of frozen in time," may cause it to more heavily consider the cloud, Jassy said.

"This is a trend that is accelerating at a very fast rate," he said.

AWS' win of a government contract to run the services of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency in 2013 caused a lot of other organizations to take notice, Jassy said. "A lot of customers would say if it's secure enough for the CIA, it is probably secure for us too," Jassy said.

To this end, Jassy brought to the stage Tayloe Stansbury, chief technology officer for financial software and services provider Intuit, which is in the process of moving many of its core applications to AWS. Intuit employs 8,000 workers, 3,000 of which are engineers. It has 50 million customers and generates about $4 billion in annual revenue.

The AWS cloud is good enough for Intuit, evidently. The company first set up a few small apps tools to run online. Impressed with the results, the company then proceeded to move to the cloud one of its data centers that was coming up for lease renewal. Doing that cut costs by up to six times, Stansbury said.

In addition to cost savings, running on AWS brings Intuit a number of other advantages, Stansbury said, including the ability of developers to create services more quickly. if Intuit acquires a company that already uses AWS, the integration process goes a lot more smoothly.

Intuit runs 33 applications, 26 services and eight tools on AWS. The company's popular Mint financial adviser service now runs on AWS. Over time, the company will move all of its offerings to the cloud, Stansbury said.

 

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