Executive Summary: ISG Provider Lens™ AWS Ecosystem Partners - U.S. 2023
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The AWS ecosystem - A strategic advantage for business transformation
AWS has introduced significant developments in 2023, propelling cloud operations and computing into a new era of digital transformation initiatives. These developments have enhanced the competitive landscape, task efficiency and economies of scale. Additional factors contributing to an elevated pace of digital transformations include quick adaptability to changes, socioeconomic and geopolitical circumstances and rapidly evolving enterprise expectations. Hybrid and multicloud strategies have emerged to utilize cloud solutions for varied end-user specializations and industry use cases and technology capabilities. These strategies facilitate efficient integration of applications on platforms from various cloud providers, consolidating cross-platform solutions such as serverless architecture and industry-defined computing environments.
Furthermore, the poly-cloud strategy is growing, particularly in unique and complex use cases that demand high-performance computing (HPC). Such providers are evaluating and formalizing these strategies for deployment in client environments. However, enterprise users are cautious about this approach due to concerns related to cloud-to-cloud connectivity, the expanse of geographic coverage and potential disruptions affecting multiple stakeholders’ application performance.
The global cloud market spans various regions, including North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East and Africa. AWS stands out as the leading hyperscaler across all the regions, with a sizeable market share in the cloud IaaS and PaaS markets. The AWS cloud spans 99 Availability Zones across 31 geographic regions and has over 100,000 partners from over 150 countries, contributing to its extensive market penetration. While AWS has a significant presence in North America, it has expanded its reach further. Aligning governance processes to keep workloads in tandem with cloud framework policies aided its ongoing expansion initiatives in 2023 to Melbourne (Australia - AWS Asia Pacific), Hyderabad (India - AWS Asia Pacific), and Aragón (Spain - AWS Europe).
AWS builds a symbiotic relationship with its partner ecosystem, collaborating on strategic offerings, technological innovation and industry-focused areas. The company continually realigns and expands its programs to fit the right track and segment service providers based on their core competencies and focus areas. AWS also adds certification, training and partnership programs, such as AWS Ambassador Partner Program, enabling service providers to deliver sustainable solutions to enterprise clients that adhere to market standards. AWS actively promotes partnerships and co-branding initiatives within its partner network to drive joint go-to-market (GTM) efforts. Service providers gain credibility through their association with AWS and contribute to generating higher revenue. Amazon Marketplace is gaining popularity by democratizing novel industry solutions offered by service providers, allowing enterprise clients to access and utilize them easily. Also, AWS’ CSR (corporate social responsibility) initiatives, such as the free educator enablement program by AWS Machine Learning University, provide self-paced AI and ML digital courses to developers globally.
AWS leverages its extensive experience and partner network to provide industryspecific services for the finance, healthcare, industrial and manufacturing industries. Global system integrators are exploring a product segmentation strategy of modifying existing products into new versions to suit industry requirements. The financial services industry relies on data security and resilience. Financial services institutions realizing the importance of end-to-end data integration, have started implementing them through holistic services bundles provided by global system integrators to achieve this. Notable examples include Nasdaq’s migration of the first U.S. options market to AWS and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s approval of OCC’s (Open Cloud Consortium) cloud infrastructure proposal with AWS. Such measures are transforming the financial landscape in the U.S., encouraging other institutions to follow suit in their cloud migration strategies.
There is increased awareness about climate change that has led enterprises to embrace sustainable practices. AWS and its partner network mandate the implementation of measures for a sustainable future. For example, AWS Well-Architected Framework helps enterprises efficiently manage their cloud resources, reducing resource consumption compared to the private cloud. This, in turn, lowers the cost of ownership and carbon footprint. The scalable and cost-optimized designs promoted by AWS contribute to these sustainability efforts. Aligning governance processes with cloud architecture frameworks and policies has further aided in tracking enterprises’ progress toward sustainability initiatives.
Newly-defined Emerging focus areas of global system integrators and enterprise clients
Global system integrators are introducing financial engineering programs that depart from the traditional FinOps model. These programs offer immediate cost-saving opportunities by optimizing AWS technological platforms, allowing clients to save on compute capacity and manage virtual machine capacity efficiently.
Financial engineering programs to expedite cost efficiency
Financial engineering programs proposed by global system integrators have enabled them to gain traction in the market. They represent a shift from the traditional FinOps model of managing economic costs within the purview of the organizational requirements. Financial engineering programs enable clients to save on the AWS technological platform by providing immediate cost-saving opportunities. Global system integrators purchase and manage compute capacity and transfer required virtual machine capacity to the clients daily. This optimization technique helps in the client’s long-term financial sustainability.
Integrating IT asset management (ITAM) and FinOps for comprehensive advantage
Cloud financial management has extended its reach from the IaaS and PaaS markets into the cloud infrastructure market. IT asset management (ITAM) is an organizational discipline that tracks and reports the lifecycle of IT assets such as software, hardware, software licenses and other tangible and intangible assets. FinOps teams have the expertise to enhance the cost-efficiency of their cloud resources. However, applying FinOps methodology on software resources and their licensing mobility is niche. Expanding FinOps usage necessitates the inclusion of ITAM. This integration aids FinOps practices by optimizing license considerations across TSVs (technology software vendors), such as AWS, GCP and Microsoft Azure.
Cloud adoption has proportionately increased the number of service providers. Hyperscalers tailor their value proposition to meet the specific requirements of end-user specialization, use case and geographic locations. Thus, enterprises have realized the potential benefits of using multiple and hybrid cloud solutions for varied purposes. However, adopting a multicloud strategy creates governance and management challenges for enterprise clients. These challenges encompass maintaining consistent cloud security and compliance and addressing the challenges of automating and controlling cloud infrastructure. AWS Cloud Operations services and AWS Systems Manager helps to seamlessly integrate applications running across AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure through a single panel. AWS Cloud Operations services provide a unified operational view, effectively managing portability and orchestration challenges across different cloud environments.
AWS focuses on time to value by enforcing small and incremental changes that are simple to test, deploy and minimize risk. For instance, the Amazon SageMaker shadow test facilitates enterprise clients to configure errors and rectify performance issues before final delivery, reinforcing customer confidence with an errorfree interface. Additionally, AWS introduces a DevSecOps solution by amalgamating security capabilities into the DevOps methodology. This approach aids in the early identification and resolution of security issues during the initial stages of the development lifecycle, ultimately enhancing productivity. The newly launched. AWS Config, which supports proactive compliance, represents another time-to-value capability by this leading technology vendor. AWS’s unwavering emphasis on business agility for faster deployment of new features and applications enables swift adaptation to evolving market conditions. As businesses incline toward data-driven business models, AWS identifies market potential in enterprises struggling to establish data ingestion pipelines. AWS has the first-mover advantage by introducing advanced Redshift capabilities to simplify data ingestion.
Beyond its core compute and storage services, AWS has also tapped into the cloud security market, consistently releasing resilient network connectivity models. AWS’ latest networking capabilities described at re:Invent are geared toward safeguarding corporate applications. Features such as VPC Lattice, Verified Access and ENA Express prioritize secure networking solutions. Through collaborative efforts, such as Open Cybersecurity Schema Framework (OCSF) project involving AWS and 17 security vendors, AWS actively contributes to services that monitor, detect and mitigate security issues. Similarly, many partners provide security analytics on Security Lake to cater to the various security needs of enterprise clients.
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