Amazon will fire about 9,000 more workers from several business units, including AWS, in the coming weeks, according to a statement released today by company CEO Andy Jassy. The announcement comes two months after Amazon unveiled plans to lay off 18,000 employees.

In his official statement, Jassy said that most of the layoffs in this second round will affect employees at AWS, PXT (People Experience and Technology, the company’s HR arm), Advertising, and Twitch, the popular livestreaming service purchased by Amazon in 2014 for nearly $1 billion.

Jassy also wrote that the company would provide severance pay, transitional health insurance and assistance with job placement.

“Some may ask why we didn’t announce these role reductions with the ones we announced a couple months ago,” he wrote. “The short answer is that not all of the teams were done with their analyses in the late fall; and rather than rush through these assessments without the appropriate diligence, we chose to share these decisions as we’ve made them so people had the information as soon as possible.”

Amazon is far from the only tech company to make major staffing cuts in recent months — just this month, Meta announced that it would fire 10,000 employees, over and above the 11,000 job cuts that it announced four months ago. Twitter’s latest round of layoffs, which became public in late February, has seen the social media firm reduced to around 2,000 employees, sharply down from 7,500 immediately before Elon Musk’s controversial takeover.

After a year in which technology companies announced massive layoffs, tech sector layoffs in 2023 are looking no different — in fact, the year is starting off worse than 2022. Facing an uncertain global economy, technology companies have accelerated the pace of layoffs in 2023, after sweeping job cuts rocked the industry last year. In all, about 162,000 tech workers have lost their jobs this year, according to layoff tracker TrueUp.

One narrative around these layoffs has been that supporting workers, rather than engineers, have been most in the crosshairs of cost-cutting efforts. The news today that AWS — one of Amazon’s biggest revenue-generating businesses — has been affected is a new wrinkle. Even AWS has not been immune to current macroeconomic conditions. Revenue growth slowed sharply in the fourth quarter of 2022, to 20% in year-on-year terms. That’s well below the 27.5% and 33% figures seen in the previous two quarters. Nor is it the only major cloud provider to experience slowing growth, with both Microsoft and Google reporting slight but noticeable downturns in the same quarter.

Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky, on a recent earnings call, said that the company expects economic conditions to continue to act as a brake on revenues for the better part of 2023.

“As we look ahead, we expect these optimization efforts (reduced spending) will continue to be a headwind to AWS growth in at least the next couple of quarters,” he said.

Cloud Computing, Technology Industry

Amazon Web Services on Wednesday made its global Lift program available in India, targeting small and medium-size businesses with revenue ranging from 800 million to 6.25 billion rupees.

The Lift program, according to AWS, offers promotional credits and nearly 200 AWS services to help enterprises move on-premises workloads to the cloud.

The India Lift program allows enterprises within the designated revenue range, regardless of their status as an AWS customer, to join the program.

“New and existing customers that join the program will receive a starter pack of AWS Promotional Credits over 12 months, providing access to all 200 fully featured services on AWS,” the company said, adding that the program had no lock-in or hidden clauses.

The first dollar billed to the subscribing enterprise will unlock 62,000 rupees worth of promotional credits, AWS said, adding that increased usage of AWS services could help a subscribing enterprise unlock a maximum of 6.9 million rupees in promotional credits over the 12-month period.

The promotional credit will be used to offset the total AWS bill of the enterprise, AWS said.

In a similar move last month, Google Cloud started offering a new type of contract, dubbed Flex Agreements, to incentivize enterprises to move workloads to its data centers.    

AWS has been investing heavily in India to ramp up its operations. Last year, it launched its second region in India and said it was committing $4.4 billion (364 billion rupees) through the end of 2030 to scale scale cloud services in the country.

Cloud Computing

Revenue growth at Amazon’s cloud computing division, Amazon Web Services, continued to slow in the fourth quarter as enterprises advanced their cost-cutting measures, brought on by uncertain macroeconomic environment.

Despite a 20% year-on-year increase in revenue, reaching $21.4 billion in Q4 2022, this growth rate is slower compared to the 27.5% and 33% growth seen in third quarter and second quarter, respectively.

“Starting back in the middle of the third quarter of 2022, we saw our year-over-year growth rates slow as enterprises of all sizes evaluated ways to optimize their cloud spending in response to the tough macroeconomic conditions,” Brian Olsavsky, chief financial officer at Amazon, said during an earnings call with analysts. “As expected, these optimization efforts continued into the fourth quarter,” Olsavsky added.

Enterprises’ cost optimization to persist for next two quarters

AWS expects the slowdown in customer spending to persist for at least the first half of fiscal year 2023, spanning the next two quarters.

“As we look ahead, we expect these optimization efforts (reduced spending) will continue to be a headwind to AWS growth in at least the next couple of quarters,” Olsavsky said. In January, AWS revenue growth was in the mid-teens, the CFO added.

The slowdown in spending, according to Olsavsky, is impacting all industries with financial services, cryptocurrency and advertising being particularly sluggish.

“As there’s lower advertising spend, there’s less analytics and compute on advertising spend as well,” Olsavsky said, according to a Motley Fool transcript. Amazon CEO Andy Jassy added that enterprises are seeking to lower their short-term AWS bills by performing certain tasks less frequently.

Both, Jassy and Olsavsky stated that AWS was working with customers to lower costs in the short term through solutions such as switching to lower-cost products or offering different types of storage for different data types.

Cloud computing industry faces the heat

Microsoft and Google, which compete with AWS for cloud computing market share, have reported similar reduction in customer spending, impacting growth in their respective cloud businesses.

Microsoft, which reported fourth-quarter earnings last month, saw its Azure and other cloud services revenue growth slow to 31% from 35% in the previous sequential quarter.

Note that Microsoft does not separately report Azure revenue.

Google’s cloud revenue growth also slowed to 32% for the fourth quarter, down from 38% in the previous sequential quarter. In the fourth quarter, Google Cloud reported revenue of $7.3 billion and an operating loss of $480 million.

Amazon Web Services, Cloud Computing

Amazon Web Services (AWS) on Monday said it was making its AWS Data Lab program available in India.

The complimentary program is targeted at accelerating joint engineering efforts between enterprise customers and AWS technical experts to tackle complex data, architecture challenges using AWS products and services, the company said.

AWS Data Lab, which primarily has three offerings in the form of the build lab, the design lab, and the resident architect, can be used for activities or initiatives such as database migration, setting up data lakes along with analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning projects, and application modernization.

The program’s build lab, according to AWS, is a two to five-day joint session with a technical customer team.

The design lab, on the other hand, is one and a half to two-day engagement with enterprises who are in need for a real-world architecture recommendation on AWS and are yet to build out their cloud operations, the company said, adding that this guidance is provided by AWS experts.

Both the design lab and the build lab engagements are either hosted online or in person, AWS explained on the Data Lab portal.

“Customers leave the engagement with an architecture or working prototype that is custom fit to their needs, a path to production, deeper knowledge of AWS databases, analytics, AI/ML, serverless, and/or containers services, and new relationships with AWS service experts,” AWS said.

Resident architects under the program will provide AWS enterprise customers with technical and strategic guidance in refining, implementing, and accelerating their data strategy and solutions over a six-month engagement.

Resident architects usually engage with chief data officers, vice presidents of data architecture and other builders within an enterprise, AWS added.

AWS Data Lab, according to AWS India & South Asia’s President of Commercial Business, Puneet Chandok, can benefit enterprises by helping them build internal data analytics skills, which may involve upskilling current staff through on-the-job training, other training courses and partnering with organizations.

In India, PayU Finance has used AWS Data Lab to move away from legacy infrastructure to build a scalable data platform suited to its business requirements, PayU Finance’s Chief Data Scientist Piyush Gupta said in a press statement.

The Data Lab in India joins AWS’ network of Data Labs across the US, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Korea and the ASEAN region.

Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is making a foray into supply chain management with the release of a cloud application that integrates machine-learning to help large enterprises, which often use multiple ERP systems, get a unified view of suppliers, inventory, logistics and other supply-chain related components.

The launch of the application, dubbed AWS Supply Chain, comes at a time when the world has been hit with a myriad of supply chain issues, including the pandemic and ongoing war in Ukraine.

Supply chain management (SCM) is the fastest growing market in the enterprise application software segment and is estimated to generate sales of $20.24 billion in 2022, according to market research firm Gartner.

AWS Supply Chain, announced at AWS re:Invent Tuesday, can connect to existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) suites and supply chain management systems via built-in connectors to unify all data into a supply chain data lake, which can be later used to generate actionable insights, the company said. The connectors use pretrained machine learning models based on’s own history of supply chain data to extract and aggregate data from ERP and supply chain management systems.

Most enterprises today use disparate systems for supply chain management, which can  lead to delays in identifying potential supply chain disruptions, said Diego Pantoja-Navajas, vice president of AWS Supply Chain.

AWS Supply Chain offers map-based visualization

To provide supply chain visibility and combat this problem, AWS Supply Chain, which can be accessed via the AWS Management Console, provides a visual representation of the unified data on a real-time visual map that contains contextual information, the company said.

The map-based interface, along with contextual information such as inventory shortages or delays, can be used by inventory managers, demand planners and supply chain leaders to de-escalate potential disruptions, Pantoja-Navajas said, adding that the service could be set to generate alerts in case of disruptive scenarios.

Additionally, AWS Supply Chain will automatically provide recommended actions to resolve supply chain issues, such as moving inventory among locations, after considering factors such as the distance between facilities, and the impact on sustainability, the company said, adding that teams can collaborate within the application using its built-in chat and messaging functionality.

The new service, according to the company, is priced on a pay-as-you-consume model. AWS will charge $0.28 per hour for the first 10GB of storage and services. An additional $0.25 per GB per month will be charged when storage data exceeds 10GB, the company said.

AWS Supply Chain, which is in preview, can be accessed across US East (North Virginia), US West (Oregon), and Europe (Frankfurt), regions, the company said, adding that availability across more regions will follow soon.

Other products that AWS Supply Chain will compete with include Oracle Fusion Cloud SCM and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management.

Cloud Computing, Supply Chain Management Software

In a bid to help enterprises offer better customer service and experience, Amazon Web Services (AWS) on Tuesday, at its annual re:Invent conference, said that it was adding new machine learning capabilities to its cloud-based contact center service, Amazon Connect.

AWS launched Amazon Connect in 2017 in an effort to offer a low-cost, high-value alternative to traditional customer service software suites.

As part of the announcement, the company said that it was making the forecasting, capacity planning, scheduling and Contact Lens feature of Amazon Connect generally available while introducing two new features in preview.

Forecasting, capacity planning and scheduling now available

The forecasting, capacity planning and scheduling features, which were announced in March and have been in preview until now, are geared toward helping enterprises predict contact center demand, plan staffing, and schedule agents as required.

In order to forecast demand, Amazon Connect uses machine learning models to analyze and predict contact volume and average handle time based on historical data, the company said, adding that the forecasts include predictions for inbound calls, transfer calls, and callback contacts in both voice and chat channels.

These forecasts are then combined with planning scenarios and metrics such as occupancy, daily attrition, and full-time equivalent (FTE) hours per week to help with staffing, the company said, adding that the capacity planning feature helps predict the number of agents required to meet service level targets for a certain period of time.

Amazon Connect uses the forecasts generated from historical data and combines them with metrics or inputs such as shift profiles and staffing groups to create schedules that match an enterprise’s requirements.

The schedules created can be edited or reviewed if needed and once the schedules are published, Amazon Connect notifies the agent and the supervisor that a new schedule has been made available.

Additionally, the scheduling feature now supports intraday agent request management which helps track time off or overtime for agents.

A machine learning model at the back end that drives scheduling can make real-time adjustments in context of the rules input by an enterprise, AWS said, adding that enterprises can take advantage of the new features by enabling them at the Amazon Connect Console.

After they have been activated via the Console, the capabilities can be accessed via the Amazon Connect Analytics and Optimization module within Connect.

The forecasting, capacity planning, and scheduling features are available initially across US East (North Virginia), US West (Oregon), Asia Pacific (Sydney), and Europe (London) Regions.

Contact Lens to provide conversational analytics

The Contact Lens service, which was added to Amazon Connect to analyze conversations in real time using natural language processing (NLP) and speech-to-text analytics, has been made generally available.

The capability to do analysis has been extended to text messages from Amazon Connect Chat, AWS said.

Contact Lens’ conversational analytics for chat helps you understand customer sentiment, redact sensitive customer information, and monitor agent compliance with company guidelines to improve agent performance and customer experience,” the company said in a statement.

Another feature within Contact Lens, dubbed contact search, will allow enterprises to search for chats based on specific keywords, customer sentiment score, contact categories, and other chat-specific analytics such as agent response time, the company said, adding that Lens will also offer a chat summarization feature.

This feature, according to the company, uses machine learning to classify, and highlight key parts of the customer’s conversation, such as issue, outcome, or action item.

New features allow for agent evaluation

AWS also said that it was adding two new capabilities—evaluating agents and recreating contact center workflow—to Amazon Connect, in preview. Using Contact Lens for Amazon Connect, enterprises will be able to create agent performance evaluation forms, the company said, adding that the service is now in preview and available across regions including  US East (North Virginia), US West (Oregon), Asia Pacific (Sydney), and Europe (London).

New evaluation criteria, such as agents’ adherence to scripts and compliance, can be added to the review forms, AWS said, adding that machine-learning based scoring can be activated.

The machine learning scoring will use the same underlying technology used by Contact Lens to analyze conversations.

Additionally, AWS said that it was giving enterprises the chance to create new workflows for agents who use the Amazon Connect Agent Workspace to do daily tasks.

“You can now also use Amazon Connect’s no-code, drag-and-drop interface to create custom workflows and step-by-step guides for your agents,” the company said in a statement.

Amazon Connect uses a pay-for-what-you-use model, and no upfront payments or long-term commitments are required to sign up for the service.

Cloud Computing, Enterprise Applications, Machine Learning

Amazon Web Services (AWS) on Tuesday launched its second region in India and said it was committing $4.4 billion (Rs 36,300 crore) to scale it till the end of 2030.

The $4.4 billion investment is a huge increase from the initially announced investment of $2.8 billion for the region in 2020 as the cloud computing firm looks to capitalize on India’s double digit growth in cloud spending.

The new region, which will be based in Hyderabad (designated ap-south-2), will add three availability zones to AWS’ existing infrastructure in the country. AWS already has a region in Mumbai, which was launched in June 2016, and a local zone in New Delhi.

AWS Regions are composed of Availability Zones that place infrastructure in separate and distinct geographic locations.

Local zones, on the other hand, are infrastructure deployment that provides compute, storage and database services to a large population or industry centers.

“We welcome AWS’s commitment to invest approximately INR 36,300 crores in the AWS Region in Hyderabad, which strengthens Telangana’s position as a progressive data center hub in India,” K. T. Rama Rao, minister for information technology at the Government of Telangana said in a statement.

AWS estimates that the investment will see an addition of 48,000 jobs in the region over a broader time frame and add $7.6 billion to India’s gross domestic product by 2030.

The $4.4 billion investment, which includes capital expenditures on the construction of data centers and operational expenses, is expected to be implemented in phases and completed by the end of 2030, AWS said.

“The new AWS Asia Pacific (Hyderabad) Region is part of our long-term commitment to India to invest in cloud infrastructure, provide training to upskill the nation with digital capabilities, create local jobs, and enable a more sustainable future,” said Puneet Chandok, president for Commercial Business at AWS India and South Asia.

With the addition of the second region in India, the total tally of AWS’ regions in Asia Pacific (APAC) now stands at 10 regions. The regions in APAC are based in India, Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Indonesia.

Globally, the company has a total of 96 availability zones across 30 geographic locations and has plans to launch 15 more availability zones and add five more AWS regions in Australia, Canada, Israel, Thailand, and New Zealand.

Hyderabad turns into a hot spot for data centers

AWS’s launch in the Hyderabad region comes after rivals Oracle and Microsoft have either opened up a data center in the city, or revealed plans to do so.

In 2020, Oracle opened its first data center in Hyderabad—second in the country—after launching the Mumbai data center in 2019. Globally, Oracle has plans to add five new regions.

Similarly, in March, Microsoft had revealed plans to launch a data center in Hyderabad with an investment of over $1.8 billion (Rs 15,000 crores). The company already has three other data centers in India across Mumbai, Pune and Chennai.

Cloud Computing, Data Center

Macroeconomic conditions led by the pandemic and the geopolitical crisis in Ukraine have further slowed down growth of Amazon’s cloud computing unit, Amazon Web Services (AWS), in the third quarter of 2022.

Amazon on Thursday said AWS had raked in revenue of $20.5 billion for the quarter ended September 30, up 27.5% year-on-year.

However, revenue for AWS grew at 33% year-on-year at 19.74 billion in the previous quarter (ended June 30). For the quarter before that, revenue grew 36.5%.

The steady decline in growth can be attributed to macroeconomic conditions, due to which the company is seeing a slowdown in customer expenditure, company executives said during an earnings call.

“We do see some of the consumers are cutting their budgets and trying to save money in the short run. I would say that although we had a 28% growth rate for the quarter for AWS, the back end of the quarter, we were more in the mid-20% growth rate. So, we’ve carried that forecast through to the fourth quarter,” CFO Brian Olsavsky said, according to a Motley Fool transcript.

Other factors affecting AWS growth, according to Olsavsky, were inflation in employee salaries due to stock-based compensation and rising energy costs alongside continued investments in its data centers.

“We’re also seeing energy costs that are materially higher than they had in pre-pandemic, electricity and the impact of natural gas pricing. So, we’re fighting through some of that as well, which is a new thing for the AWS business. But we’ll continue to look for ways to optimize our operations to use less energy,” the CFO said during the earnings call.

AWS to work with customers to lower their costs

To continue its revenue momentum, AWS said it was working closely with customers to lower their costs.

“When I talk about enterprise customers in AWS, yes, we’ve been working with customers to lower their bills. Just like all companies, they want to lower their spend when they’re faced with uncertainty in the market,” Olsavsky said while responding to a question on customer behavior.

During the quarter, rivals Microsoft and Google have increased their cloud revenue by 35% and 38% respectively.  

AWS, which still leads the infrastructure-as-a-service (IassS) market, also has been gradually losing ground to these rivals, according to a report from market research firm Gartner. At the end of 2021, AWS retained 38.9% share of the market against 40.8% dominance in 2020, Gartner said. Microsoft increased its market share by 1.4% market share to 21.1%, the report showed. Google gained a percentage point, for a 7.1% share of the market.

Cloud Computing, Technology Industry

Modernization journeys are complex and typically highly custom, dependent on an enterprise’s core business challenges and overall competitive goals. Yet one way to simplify transformation and accelerate the process is using an industry-specific approach. Any vertical modernization approach should balance in-depth, vertical sector expertise with a solutions-based methodology that caters to specific business needs.

As part of their partnership, IBM and Amazon Web Services (AWS) are pursuing a variety of industry-specific blueprints and solutions designed to help customers modernize apps for a hybrid IT environment, which includes AWS Cloud.

The solutions, some in pilot stage and others in early development, transcend a variety of core industries, including manufacturing, financial services, healthcare, and transportation.

These industry solutions bring to bear both IBM and AWS’ deep-seated expertise in the specific security, interoperability, and data governance requirements impacting vertical sectors. Such an approach ensures that app modernization efforts meet any relevant certification requirements and solve business-specific problems.

“A general modernization path brings the technical assets together whereas an industry-focused initiative is more of a problem-solving, solutions-oriented design,” says Praveena Varadarajan, modernization offering leader and strategist for IBM’s Hybrid Cloud Migration Group.

With the right industry solution and implementation partner in place, organizations can steer towards effective modernization. Along with the proper technologies and tools, the right consulting partners can help accelerate transformation, specifically if they can together demonstrate deep and diverse expertise, modernization patterns, and industry-specific blueprints.

Consider the critical area of security controls, for example. Companies across industries have core requirements related to data security and governance controls, yet different industries have uniquely focused considerations.

In healthcare, securing personal health data is key, governed by national standards laid out by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).The financial services industry must adhere to a different set of security requirements, from protecting Personal Identifiable Information (PII) to safeguards that meet Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance, meant to protect credit card holder’s information.

“Industry verticals have different compliance and regulatory issues that have to be taken into consideration when doing any type of refactoring or app modernization,” notes Hilton Howard, global migration and modernization lead at AWS. “Healthcare and life sciences companies have different governance and compliance concerns along with issues on how data is managed compared to technology companies or those in energy and financial services.”

AWS/IBM’s Industry Edge

IBM and AWS have put several mechanisms and programs in place to codify their rich vertical industry expertise and make it easily accessible to customers in critical sectors. IBM and AWS experts collaborate to identify potential joint offerings and solution blueprints designed to provide a modernization roadmap that is a level up from a general technical guide. Much of the guidance and deliverables is codified from joint initiatives conducted with large customers to provide an accelerated problem-solving path to a wider audience. The deliverables could be reference architectures or an industry-specific proof of concept—the goal is to offer institutional knowledge and near-turn-key solutions meant to streamline modernization and accelerate time-to-value.

“Sometimes it’s best practices or a solution design or some combination,” Varadarajan says. “It’s about bringing internal or external tools to bear to solve specific business issues.”

In addition, AWS and IBM are working on complex transformation aimed at large-scale transformation and modernization efforts. This will help enterprise customers adopt new digital operating models structurally and prescriptively, and transform with AWS to deliver strategic business outcomes. The program builds a meaningful partnership between AWS, IBM, and the client, and delivers an integrated program underpinned by a tailored playbook that delivers the clients’ prioritized initiatives enabled by AWS, while developing sustainable organizational capabilities for continuous transformation.

“Applying an industry lens keeps solutions grounded to the guiding principles of the business,” Varadarajan says. “The goal of transformation is not just to become more modern, but to change the way companies adapt to the new norms of running a business in the digital world.”

United’s Revenue Management Modernization Takes Flight

United Airlines took to the cloud to modernize its Revenue Management system to reduce costs, but also to land on a platform that didn’t limit its ability to apply modern revenue management processes. The airline also sought to provide analysts with finer data access controls so they could be more analytical and creative when driving revenue management decisions.

Working with AWS and IBM, United created and scaled a data warehouse using Amazon Redshift, an off-the-shelf service that manages terabytes of data with ease. Critical success factors included embracing DevOps practices, emphasis on disaster recovery, and system stability, and continuous review of design and migration decisions. Next stop: Migrating a complex forecasting module planned for later in 2022.

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Application Management

A majority of companies are confident in a future built around hybrid cloud, according to a recent poll conducted by The Harris Poll and IBM. What they are less decisive about is how to map the right cloud modernization journey, one that is efficient and secure while delivering business agility and competitive advantage.

Modernizing the application estate through cloud migration is a key part of any digital transformation strategy. More than just generic tweaks to the application stack or a simple lift-and-shift initiative, true app modernization involves holistic process improvements and optimizing the application mix for quantifiable business outcomes.

But enterprise application portfolio and ecosystem complexity, coupled with diverse business requirements, means there is no one-size-fits-all. Typically, this journey requires strategically coordinating many overlapping objectives in line with clearly defined business outcomes and orchestrated without disrupting business continuity.

As part of an application portfolio rationalization, organizations must understand what each application does, how it could benefit from transformation, and what path is right for cloud migration. Given the variety of factors and business outcomes, it’s a complex exercise to determine what applications should be rewritten for native cloud, refactored to better leverage cloud’s benefits, or alternatively, rehosted or relocated to gain essential advantages.

Naturally, companies are drawn to AWS Cloud to reduce operating expenses. But they may overlook the required strategic planning and lack the development expertise to leverage AWS services and create fully optimized cloud-native apps that deliver actual cost advantages. 

“Business priorities always come with constraints like people, budget, and timeline,” notes Praveena Varadarajan, modernization offering leader and strategist for IBM’s Hybrid Cloud Migration Group. “When you take all those things into consideration, it’s not always feasible to rewrite an application completely and redesign it.”

Navigating Modernization

Based on institutional knowledge gleaned from scores of modernization engagements, IBM can help organizations navigate the journey while leveraging tools and expertise from its AWS partnership. IBM guides organizations through the assessment stage, garnering a thorough understanding of the state of the application portfolio through rationalization of existing systems and tailoring app modernization strategies that add value in phases.

IBM establishes a detailed understanding of operations, identifying bottlenecks and pain points, to establish a modernization roadmap that drives the most business value. With IBM as a guide, organizations can significantly reduce the business risk of modernization and accelerate the time to benefit from migration to hybrid cloud.

Key to IBM’s approach is IBM Consulting Cloud Accelerator (ICCA), a revolutionary platform designed to map out the best path to hybrid cloud modernization. Powered by the expertise IBM has gained leading over 100,000 successful hybrid cloud migrations, ICCA delivers a step-by-step path to modernizing business functions, tailored for individual business requirements and preferred outcomes based on automated analysis and a set of complex rules.

Through ICCA, IBM operationalizes its institutional knowledge while delivering a variety of resources such as expert rules, tools, technical assets, and industry solution starter kits. This helps practitioners decide, for example, what applications would benefit from a complete rewrite to be cloud-native versus which should be refactored through use of containerization, APIs, and microservices. The result: A packaged guide to different hybrid cloud pathways, helping to accelerate planning, ensure low-touch execution, and deliver predicable outcomes.

“Think of ICCA as a GPS for app modernization,” Varadarajan says. “All the work that is typically done manually is automated and there’s this basket of goodies put in front of the practitioner to say here are the tools you should be using to accomplish your goals.”

In addition to ICCA, IBM’s mature Garage methodology helps organizations navigate app modernization. Garage is an end-to-end iterative framework that guides organizations through the ideation, build, and scaling stages of app modernization. This process helps ensure successful, predicable delivery of projects on schedule and with the highest levels of quality. IBM works with customers in a collaborative partnership, applying agile principles and using an outcome-first, data-driven methodology that according to Forrester, delivers 67% faster speed to outcomes. Customers can engage with IBM and the Garage framework through three pathways: Co-create, co-execute, and co-operate, depending on their needs.

For its part, AWS brings best-of-breed offerings and accelerators to the IBM/AWS partnership to steer organizations on their modernization pathway, whether it’s to rewrite or refactor applications.

When refactoring applications, it’s critical to decompose a monolith application into microservices that can fetch data for different business transaction. However, if microservices are incorrectly integrated, this undermines the cost and scalability benefits of the architecture and may cause data loss or latency and integrity issues, says Hilton Howard, global migration and modernization lead at AWS.

AWS helps organizations integrate microservices through services like AWS Lambda, an event-driven, serverless computing platform used to refactor applications by allowing code to run on high-availability compute infrastructure without provisioning or managing services, Howard explained. In addition, AWS API Gateway can be used to design and build complex or large microservices-based applications with multiple client applications. In addition to its sweeping portfolio of tools and services, the AWS Well-Architected program and coterie of SMEs help organization leverage mature design principles to deliver cloud native AWS services.

The mandate for modernization is clear, but the pathway is still ill-defined. With help from the AWS/IBM Alliance team, organizations can gain access to best-of-breed resources and accelerators designed to simplify and optimize app modernization while helping navigate the twists and turns of the transformation journey.

For more information, visit

Cloud Computing, Cloud Management