A stark reminder of the importance of cloud was delivered during the opening address by AWS EMEA Managing Director of Business Development Darren Mowry
As if the circa 40 percent growth in a single quarter wasn’t enough of an indicator, Mowry relayed research from the London School of Economics that estimates 95 per cent start ups in the UK would not exist without cloud computing.
Circle back to the influence and reach AWS has, with infrastructure in 25 countries, over 200 security, compliance and government service features on top of over 116 management and data storage service that support encryption and you see the appeal; if you hadn't already.
Saving the Supermarket
On stage at the London AWS Summit, one demonstration of the advantages of the platform was given from Phil Jordan and Clodagh Moriarty, CIO and Group Digital Officer respectively at Sainsbury’s.
Recounting on the last two years, Jordan and Moriarty brought us inside of the digital department in the supermarket that was struggling with load times and up time as their competition were, in the words of Moriarty, “innovating fast” and challengers surpassing the 150-year-old grocer fast.
AWS IN 2019
■ 41% Growth Q4 18 to Q1 19
■ $7.7 billion revenue Q1 19
■ $31 billion run rate
■ 100,000 active customers in UK
Sainsbury’s has since rebuilt its online groceries business in the cloud. Moving, modularising and placing into AWS the commerce system that was running on an Oracle RAC database. Now the supermarket runs 80 per cent of its groceries business online with considerable results according to Jordan.
“The outcome of that migration for our business has been significantly transformational. 30 per cent less infrastructure, we routinely see transactions on the website, patch processing is 70/80 per cent quicker and, since that 7TB migration, to this day, touch wood, we have had no major outages.”
Moriarty also talked attendees through Sainsbury’s planned integration of data from the Nectar card loyalty scheme into the retailer’s own system. The group digital officer said that 70 per cent of Sainsbury’s customers engage with Nectar and that the two brands are now being run by the retailer.
She added “We wanted to shift the way we thought about loyalty, reward and engagement, becoming more digital first, centring around a decision engine which delivers the next best customer message opposed to the next best commercial message. We empowered our customers to let them decide what offers they wanted along the journey and how they wanted to use those offers in the process.
“Coming up a year ago now we released a trial in the Isle of Wight and have scaled that slowly through Wales. What we have seen with that engagement, which is digital first, engine based and really interactive is that weekly engagements have increased five fold in that short space of time.”
Following the presentation from Jordan and Moriarty AWS VP of compute services Matt Garman, talked through the Snowball, Snowmobile and Data sync data migration products and the integration with VMware that allows businesses to manage traditional VMware applications as applications.
“We are in early days, in fact, it is just day one for the internet, the cloud, for Amazon. We believe that these are early days for all of us.”AWS managing director of EMEA business development Darren Mowry
Less is more (scalable)
Insights from the worlds of artificial intelligence and Blockchain were also voiced and can be found in the Emerging Technology feature but just before those presentations, Garman demonstrated the advantages of a Microservice application architecture.
Specifically, Garman compared the Microservice architecture that Amazon themselves have adopted, against a monolithic architecture.
Garman demonstrated that with tightly connected but independent departments as part of a microservice architecture their departments can grow and make decisions in their interest whereas with a Monolithic set up scale is enforced on all areas.
“At Amazon we made this change about 15 years ago, where we broke apart all pieces of the Amazon.com service into its own services.
“Because microservices run independently, each service can be updated, deployed and scaled to meet the demands for its specific function and each of the individual teams., most importantly, can make decisions on their own because it only impacts the little service that they are running.