The other week, our team attended AWS Summit London, the first of several AWS Summits that we’ll sponsor this year. The London event included a day of workshops on Wednesday, followed by a full agenda of open sessions and a keynote from Amazon CTO Dr. Werner Vogels on Thursday.

With AWS re:Invent already open for registration and at least six more summits to go, the event offered a taste of possible announcements this November.

Here are 4 key takeaways from the AWS Summit London: 

Machine Learning Gains Greater Focus

Amazon reaffirmed its commitment to machine learning, declaring an intention to place such tools in the hands of every developer and data scientist. Appropriately, machine learning was also a big focus of Vogels’ Thursday keynote, where he shared how AWS is investing towards these outcomes, especially as organizations integrate data and analytics strategies into their business activities. 

AWS offers a growing number of machine learning services including image and object recognition, text-to-speech and speech-to-text processing, building conversational interfaces, translation, and natural language processing. Many customers are already using these services to build new product features for analytics and customer service. In a press release announcing its “all-in” status with AWS, airline carrier Ryanair said that machine learning is “important to our growth,” and highlighted their use of Amazon SageMaker and Amazon Lex to enhance customer support.

Security Remains an Important Emphasis

With the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in enforcement, Vogels emphasized that “security is everyone’s job.” We couldn’t agree more. 

The CI/CD model of cloud computing means that the old ways of doing security simply won’t work anymore. Security must be integrated into every deployment and at every point of your pipeline, including through automation, compliance, analysis, and visualization tools. The enforcement of GDPR regulations highlights just how far a security mindset must extend in your organization (think culture, not just at the department level) and how important security and compliance will be going forward, especially with recent breaches.

Multi-cloud Continues to Gain Interest

While companies like Ryanair are going all-in on AWS, others prefer a multi-cloud approach. On the show floor, we heard from many companies who are exploring the possibilities or already using Azure or Google Cloud in combination with AWS, motivated by factors including flexibility, cost, and avoiding vendor lock-in. According to research firm IDC, more than 85% of organizations are planning to adopt multi-cloud this year.

Obviously, the approach to multi-cloud depends on what is best for your business. Larger enterprises have access to more innovative services, capabilities, and competitive pricing models than ever before. As your technology leadership weighs efficiencies, benefits, and costs against business requirements, the need for deep, cross-platform expertise to evaluate the best tools and applications for your deployments becomes even more important.

Skills and Training

Finally, the event emphasized the importance of skills and training. In his San Francisco Summit keynote last month, Vogels acknowledged that a deep understanding will be needed to leverage AWS’s 120+ services. In London, team skills, getting the necessary training, and keeping skills current were top of mind for most companies. With new product releases happening too quickly for most customers to keep up, those responsible for training must recognize the need to address both immediate skill gaps and the skills needed to meet ever-evolving tech and business requirements in a way that is measurable and repeatable.

What’s Next?

With other AWS Summits and re:Invent quickly approaching, we’re getting a better idea of how the industry is evolving. Between machine learning, security, multi-cloud, and the right skills and training, the rest of the year looks to be an innovative one. Keep following us here on the Cloud Academy blog to see where you can meet us at an upcoming event or to get our perspective on where we believe the industry is headed.