AWS and Melco: Transformation through the cloud.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is one of the world’s most comprehensive and widely utilised cloud platforms, as Senior Business Development Manager Eva Wong explains: “After building and running a massive ecommerce platform for over a decade, our parent company Amazon realised that it had developed a core competency in operating large scale technology infrastructure. To that was added a much broader mission of serving a new customer set, and that's how AWS was born.”
AWS is at the forefront of cloud computing, which has revolutionised the world, not least in a business context. “Cloud computing means on-demand delivery of IT resources via the internet,” says Wong. “AWS manages and operates a technology infrastructure in a secure environment. Businesses can access these resources through the internet to develop and run their applications. Capacity can grow and shrink very quickly according to your needs, with customers only paying for what they use.” Those capabilities allow for a much increased pace of innovation, with Wong seeing more and more enterprises undergoing cloud adoption for their own purposes.
She sees one of the differentiators that sets AWS apart from competitors is its culture. “The way we work emphasises working backwards and being customer obsessed. We focus relentlessly on innovation and taking into account customer feedback to incorporate into our technology roadmap. It’s a different kind of culture that our customers really appreciate. We focus on building relationships with customers that are for the long-term.”
That spirit is evident in its collaboration with Melco Resorts & Entertainment. “Melco started using the AWS platform to build their applications four years ago. With AWS scalability, agility and global presence, Melco is able to expand their applications globally in weeks, compared to months in traditional on-premise data centres.” Aside from the scale, Melco is also able to deliver bespoke customer experiences to guests via the MelSuite, the Smart-in-Room-Management-System built on AWS by Melco’s DX Team. “With over 175 services currently available on the AWS platform, Melco can be experimental and innovative,” says Wong. “They can test and try out new ideas with minimal upfront costs, and compute resources are readily available to them as they require.”
Powering the collaboration effort has been a close working relationship between AWS and what Wong calls Melco’s “visionary” leadership team. “The fundamental part of any successful partnership is understanding the customer’s vision and how you can best support them to execute that vision. That’s why we always listen to our customer feedback - 90% of our roadmap and features are a direct result of that.”
Wong sees the close working relationship as resilient going into the future, evolving alongside key trends such as know-your-customer initiatives. “The extension of customer experience is interacting with your guests digitally. We are seeing more interest in interactive video services - live streaming solutions that are quick and easy to set up and ideal for creating interactive video experiences for customers. With the COVID-19 pandemic, that’s becoming a key focus as companies look for ways to keep the customer up to date, create a great customer experience and ultimately drive customer loyalty.”
IT Employees Predict 90% Increase in Cloud Security Spending
As companies get back on their feet post-pandemic, they’re going all-in on cloud applications. In a recent report by Devo Technology titled “Beyond Cloud Adoption: How to Embrace the Cloud for Security and Business Benefits”, 81% of the 500 IT and security team members surveyed said that COVID accelerated their cloud timelines. More than half of the top-performing businesses reported gains in visibility. In fact, the cloud now outnumbers on-premise solutions at a 3:1 ratio.
But the benefits are accompanied by significant cybersecurity risks, as cloud infrastructure is more complex than legacy systems. Let’s dive in.
Why Are Cloud Platforms Taking Over?
According to Forrester, the public cloud infrastructure market could grow 28% over the next year, up to US$113.1bn. Companies shifting to remote work and decentralised workplaces find it easy to store and access information, especially as networks start to share more and more supply chain and enterprise information—think risk mitigation platforms and ESG ratings.
Here’s the catch: when you shift to the cloud, you choose a more complex system, which often requires cloud-native platforms for network security. In other words, you can’t stop halfway. ‘Only cloud-native platforms can keep up with [the cloud’s] speed and complexity” and ultimately increase visibility and control’, said Douglas Murray, CEO at cloud security provider Valtix.
Here’s a quick list of the top cloud security companies, as ranked by Software Testing Help:
What are the Security Issues?
Here’s the bad news. According to Accenture, less than 40% of companies have achieved the full value they expected on their cloud investments. All-in greater complexity has forced companies to spend more to hire skilled tech workers, analyse security data, and manage new cybersecurity threats.
The two main issues are (1) a lack of familiarity with cloud systems and (2) challenges with shifting legacy security systems to new platforms. Out of the 500 IT employees from Devo Technology’s cloud report, for example, 80% said they’d sorted 40% more security data, suffered from a lack of cloud security training, and experienced a 60% increase in cybersecurity threats.
How Will Companies React?
They certainly won’t stop investing in cloud platforms. Out of the 500 enterprise-level companies that Devo Technology talked to throughout North America and Western Europe, 90% anticipated a jump in cloud security spending in 2021. They’ll throw money at automating security processes and investing in security upskilling programmes.
After all, company executives will find it incredibly difficult to stick with legacy systems when some cloud-centred companies have found success. Since moving from Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) offerings to the cloud, Accenture has saved up to 70% on its processes; recently, the company announced that it would invest US$3bn to help its clients ‘realise the cloud’s business value, speed, cost, talent, and innovation benefits’.
The company stated: ‘Security is often seen as the biggest inhibitor to a cloud-first journey—but in reality, it can be its greatest accelerator’.