February 1, 2013
I was interested to read some coverage of the recent event that was run by Amazon Web Services in Sydney, Australia to celebrate the launch of two Sydney availability zones for the company. As an aside its interesting to look at the list of services that AWS has chosen to go to market with. It always seems to me that in a market that is somewhat late to adopt a new technology, its better to introduce things gradually so as to not confuse the messaging. AWS has chosen to go a different route and is releasing the following long list of services into the Sydney zone: EC2, EBS, VPC, ELB, EMR, RDS, SQS, SNS,#3, Elastic Beanstalk…. yeah, you get the picture. In fact there is little in the AWS stable that isn’t being made available in Sydney – most notable exceptions are the high-level processing instance types available in North Virginia, such as second-generation (M3) standard instances, cluster compute, cluster GPU and high I/O instances.
Anyway – as is the usual for these sort of launch events, AWS bought out some big hitters to talk about how the service is already being put to use in market. In this case it was CIO of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Michael Hart who was very bullish about the benefits they’re seeing with the cloud. Hart’s comments went so far as to say that customers are being fed “garbage” by incumbent vendors who point out concerns around data sovereignty, security and control as reasons to not move to the cloud.
In an article about his presentation, Hart was quoted as saying:
We’ve halved our storage costs, halved our app testing costs, and overall saved 40 percent across all the resources we consume as a service. What’s harder to quantify is the happiness this provides our business partners, when we can now deliver services in minutes and days, and focus our IT guys on services our customers want. This can free up an enormous amount of capital and time in the business. If it’s easy enough for us as a large organisation, it will be easy enough for you to do it.
Pretty bullish words from a normally conservative industry and proof that cloud is indeed coming of age. Of course Hart’s comments need to be tempered by the fact that they’re in no way moving everything to the cloud. In fact just a few months ago the bank was being used as a case study for a large role out of oracle products – still very much on-premise.
Posturing aside however, the fact that large, heavily regulated industries such as banking are coming out on record advocating for a move to the cloud shows that we really have reached a tipping point – and maybe (just maybe) that will mean an end of all the FUD. Final word to Hart who really pushed the message that Australian businesses should jump on the cloud wagon:
I don’t think Australia as a buying community has moved fast enough,” he said. “We started talking about cloud in 2006 and 2007… It is incumbent on all of us to get in fromt of our executive committees…We need to go to the head of operations and the CFO and and convince them this is a smarter way to do business.