AWS re:Invent Takeaways
AWS re:Invent, now entering its 2nd decade as the cloud computing industry’s leading conference event, took place in Las Vegas Nov 27th – Dec 1st. As AWS’ cloud services are now generating more than $80B in revenue per year, compute and data workloads in the cloud have arguably become the norm vs. the exception for organizations of all shapes and sizes. This year’s event drew an estimated 60,000 attendees, a level of attendance not seen since before the pandemic. Below are a few of the key topics we encountered at the conference and a few other observations:
- Cloud security remains a challenge for many enterprises. With as much as 80% of enterprise data now residing in cloud or SaaS environments, most vendors we connected with agree that organizations have yet to fully address cloud security. Many of the companies we spoke with deliver solutions that provide innovative ways to protect data and workloads in cloud environments, including the use of AI for more proactive threat detection.
- Adoption of Kubernetes (“K8s”) platforms has become mainstream. As enterprises continue forward with their cloud migration journeys, it has arguably become “table stakes” to leverage K8s as the automation and orchestration system for deploying applications in the Cloud. We connected with several rapidly emerging vendors who help organizations fully realize the flexibility and efficiency benefits of K8s platforms.
- Generative AI (“Gen AI”) is a central part of AWS’ conference announcements. Most of the new product introductions and enhancements AWS unveiled at the conference were focused on its next-generation Gen AI cloud service offerings. In several of our conversations, emerging vendors also discussed leveraging Gen AI to more effectively secure and optimize cloud workload environments. In the long term, it appears that AI & the Cloud will remain closely linked based on the emphasis placed on AI by AWS and other vendors at the event.
- Cloud ecosystem vendors pressing on despite challenging economic backdrop. We noticed a significantly different tone from emerging vendors relative to last year when discussing 2023 performance. Whereas 100% year-over-year growth was the norm for many vendors in 2020-2021, 50%+ growth for businesses who have achieved some degree of scale now feels heroic, given the challenging economic backdrop. While most companies we met with acknowledged 2023 was a challenging year, many vendors have sustained strong momentum as ongoing cloud transformation initiatives remain a top priority for their customers.
As the Cloud continues to evolve towards becoming the standard deployment model for applications and infrastructure, we expect to see continued innovation and strategic transaction activity coming from the cloud ecosystem – with Gen AI adding some extra “fuel to the fire” heading into 2024.