Today’s blog post reflects on the Amazon Web Services Summit held on Wednesday 13th May 2020 via webinar. We focus on key ideas presented throughout the day including building intelligent systems, implementing a “test and learn” culture and creating meaningful customer experiences.
Building intelligent systems
First off the mark was a welcome and keynote from AWS Chief Technology Officer Werner Vogels, who joined us from Amsterdam. Vogels explained the power of resilience in responding to patterns, and revealed that AWS truly wants customers to “build the best systems they can” in order to be successful. He spoke about working from home and the realised digital capabilities of our systems opening us up a world of possibilities, and why we should be focusing on fundamental concepts to build tools that people will find useful.
Reflecting on the effects COVID-19 is having on businesses everywhere, Vogels noted that it took a crisis to push us out of our comfort zone, but this change in pace has been supported by the infrastructure behind it. He gave the example of Nextdoor, an online neighbourhood hub for sharing information and services, explaining how through AI and machine learning, these technologies are able to “pick up patterns our eyes cannot recognise.”
Implementing a “test and learn” culture
Throughout the day, attendees were encouraged to implement a “test and learn” culture within their organisations. In her presentation on Activating Data as a Strategic Asset, AWS Business Development Manager Vicky Falconer addressed common business challenges, stressing the importance of cultivating a culture that celebrates experimentation, particularly when leveraging customer data to build predictive systems, benefiting everyone involved. Falconer highlighted the advantages of a cloud environment as being flexible, innovative, scalable, secure and standardised.
Sean Hooper, Transformation Architect at AWS spoke about Migration and Modernisation Best Practices. He discussed the importance of bringing people along on the journey, especially when migrating at scale, He pointed out that through continued testing, future issues can be mitigated and encouraged us to be bold, set limits (control the results) and think big.
Creating meaningful customer experiences
Gabe Hollombe, Senior Development Advocate at AWS gave An Introduction to Data Driven Customer Engagement. He emphasised that creating meaningful customer experiences is essential in driving positive brand advocacy, and that 89% of marketing leaders expect customer experience to be their primary basis for competitive differentiation, and by leveraging predictive insights, improved outcomes can be achieved.
Attendees were reminded throughout the day to experiment with the data available to create intuitive systems, and through familiar examples (including NIB, Subway, Open Universities Australia) we were able to see the benefits.
As a leading global registry and AWS customer, Afilias supports these powerful ideas and ways of thinking. As an example of how we demonstrate the principle of experimentation, our Operational Test & Evaluation (OT&E) stage of development provides a testing environment to customers (registrars) in advance of a technical change happening to the registry (such as the upcoming launch of second level domain names, date to be announced). This ensures we recognise and support the importance of adapting to a system based, customer focused approach.
AWS 2020 was an insightful experience that offered expert insights on improving organisational processes, and we would like to thank the team for adapting to an online format to accommodate restrictions enforced as a result of COVID-19.
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