Top AWS re:Invent takeaways for CIOs


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This week’s Amazon Web Services’ customer conference, AWS re:Invent 2021, was Adam Selipsky’s first outing as CEO. He recently returned to AWS, where he worked from 2005 to 2016, after five years as CEO of Tableau Software, the data visualization vendor acquired by Between his opening keynote, and CTO Werner Vogels closing session, the company released an avalanche of announcements.

Re:Invent opened a couple days after The Wall Street Journal published an editorial entitled “It’s Time to Get Rid of the IT Department,” in which academic Joe Peppard advocated moving hardware and software to the cloud to dispense with the need for the IT specialists who manage it, leaving CIOs to coordinate IT activities embedded in the rest of the business.

While AWS is offering to take on a lot of that management work itself, it’s clear there will still be plenty for IT staff in the enterprise to do, whichever department they work in, and plenty yet for CIOs to oversee. Here’s a roundup of the big news from AWS re:Invent that CIOs will still need to deal with, and some they won’t.

Sustainable architecture

Even if Peppard is right about the future of the IT department, someone will still need to architect the stuff that moves to the cloud. That’s on the CIO, but AWS offers a playbook it calls the Well-Architected Framework to help. This already included chapters on operational excellence, security, reliability, performance efficiency, and cost optimization, to which AWS has now added sustainability. This includes questions to help users design and implement workloads in a way that reduces energy consumption.

AWS says it takes responsibility for the sustainability of the cloud — the environmental impact of the buildings, hardware, cooling, water, waste, and power supplies — while customers are responsible for sustainability in the cloud, ensuring their code runs efficiently, on appropriately sized instances, and that they store or process only the data they need to, where they need it.

The process of reviewing workloads optimization can be automated with the AWS Well-Architected Tool, which has just gained a new, free feature, Custom Lenses. This enables enterprises to add definitions of their own best practices to complement those provided out-of-the-box by AWS, for example to check for compliance with PCI or SOC 2 rules, or other national or industry regulations.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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