AWS CEO: Why the cloud isn’t just another tech revolution

Reinvent keynote
(Image credit: Future / Mike Moore)

The CEO of Amazon Web Services (AWS) has heralded a new generation of cloud computing-enabled businesses that have the power to change how the world around us operates.

Speaking at his opening keynote address for AWS re:Invent 2021 in Las Vegas, Adam Selipsky noted the seismic effect of cloud computing on almost every company operating today.

"The cloud has become not just another tech revolution, but an enabler of fundamental shift in the way that businesses actually function,” he noted. “There's no industry that hasn't been touched and no business that can't be radically disrupted, and every one of us here today is part of that movement."

Come a long way

Selipsky started his keynote with a look back, as AWS celebrates not just 10 years of its re:Invent conference, but 15 years as a separate entity.

“We sure have come a long way together in the past 15 years,” he noted. “It's hard to believe that when we first started, the concept of cloud computing barely existed.”

“Back then IT and infrastructure just weren't working. It was expensive. It was slow. It was inflexible. It suffocated innovation. And of course it was dominated by old guard vendors who loved the expense and the lock-in - but we knew there had to be a better path forward for all of us."

"I do remember perplexed looks and people's faces when I tried to explain AWS and the cloud - it was barely a concept yet and it was really hard to put into context. I can't tell you how many times I was asked, 'But what does this have to do with selling books?'”

Now, Selipsky notes that Amazon S3 stores more than three trillion objects and AWS offers over 200 fully-featured services to millions of customers around the world.

This year’s event is the first since former leader Andy Jassey moved to take over the top job at parent company Amazon following Jeff Bezos’ retirement, with Selipsky shifting into the leading cloud role with anticipation that further growth is assured.

"We're just getting started,” he said, noting that between only five and 15% of IT spending has moved to the cloud, and technologies such as 5G and IoT offering huge possibilities for the likes of AWS.

And with a customer list spanning the likes of Netflix to NASA, few would bet against AWS continuing that growth going forward, especially with hardware launches such as the newly-revealed Graviton3.

"Sometimes the work we do together can be hard,” Selipsky concluded. “But we love challenges...Ultimately what the cloud and AWS offer is the ability to transform.”

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.