Always tough to collect the Top3 takeaways from an event like this – but here is my best attempt:
Germany and the cloud – warming up? – Germany is an interesting market for IT services, given it is one of the largest economies on the planet. But despite German consumers adopting cloud based services in equal fashion than in other places, German IT has been traditionally skeptical to the point of not adopting public cloud (yet). The NSA / Prism / Snowden affair certainly did not help here, and just recent additional rumors of the CIA spying on more levels of the German government than ‘just’ the chancellor did not help either. In other parts of the world, the consumerization of IT has been the main drivers to explain why cloud adoption has happened quickly in corporate IT, too. Not in Germany, and the main reasons why are in my view existing IT investments, the y levels that allow to keep investing into the ‘old but known and proven’ ways, the high sensitivity to data privacy and protection and finally the sometimes health, sometimes dangerous German stubbornness with ‘not invented here’ incarnation. These German attitudes have largely lead cloud providers to build German data centers, in order to overcome at least the data residency, data privacy and NSA / Patriot Act access fears and concerns. Amazon’s Frankfurt region is available since fall 2014 (read more here) and it is no surprise that Amazon shared at the summit that it is the vendor’s fastest growing region. It is obvious by now that you need to be ‘in it to win it’ in regards of the German public cloud market, so the move by Amazon was a well-timed one. But now it needs to drive utilization to the Frankfurt region – so the AWS Summit in Berlin was a key event for the vendor.
|Sponsors of AWS Summit Berlin|
|CTO Werner Vogels (with organge sneakers!)|
|CTO Werner Vorgels with the main message - The Cloud is Secure!|
MyPOVA good event for AWS in one of the most attractive (and skeptical) public cloud markets out there. Certainly a watershed moment that the public cloud has not only arrived physically in Germany with the opening of the AWS region last fall, but its imporance is growing in the mindset of German IT decision makers. And that is traditionally a slow moving process, with all the pros and cons, but once it is going in the right way, it will go that way for a long time.
On the concern side, AWS needs to show more direct use cases, and show more of the platform nature of AWS cloud. German enterprises think standards and platforms, and are getting more and more eager to standardize on platforms for use cases, the most prominent in Germany being IoT. All German reservation in regards of public cloud security and privacy are thrown literally overboard when it comes to IoT, as it is clear that the sheer magnitude of application requirements can only be addressed in the public cloud. Quite a turnaround in attitude when the use case changes, the challenge for AWS is that German decision makers keep hearing about ‘ready to use’ platforms from the competition, and the traditional toolbox approach of AWS is perceived as a longer learning curve that also bears some assembly risk. But that is nothing AWS cannot address in the future, but It requires a slightly different go to market the vendor has so far not shown.
Overall a good event for AWS in Germany, that is clearly in the market for the long run and is doing the basic ground work around public cloud adoption by addressing the fundamental concerns enterprises have with public cloud. AWS is doing and has done the same in all markets where it operates, it just takes a little longer to convince German IT decision makers, but this event was a key step forward in that effort. The good news for AWS is that their German prospects traditionally value the pioneering work of early innovators, even though they do not buy as quickly as e.g. their US based counterparts, but reward them later, as they want ultimately want to be associated with early innovators. So hang in there AWS, the Germans will come, more with IoT than anything else, but once there, they will do it with the famous German Gruendlichkeit (= thoroughness).