AWS, Amazon’s cloud computing service, is on track to generate $33 billion for the company this year, its quarterly earnings showed, earning $8.381 billion in revenue over the past three months alone. To put this surge in demand for its cloud computing services in context, AWS generated $1.8 billion in the same quarter of 2015 – and even that was described as “shocking” and “lucrative” by analysts at the time.
AWS growth slowed to 37 percent however, with revenue growth beginning to dampen much as Azure’s did in Microsoft earnings last week. (Azure grew 64 percent).
SageMaker, Machine Learning Services Particularly Hot
“We’re very happy with the growth in absolute dollar terms and we’re seeing a pick up from customers and their usage, their increased pace of enterprise migration, increased adoption of our services especially our machine learning services,” Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky told investors in an earnings call late Thursday, pointing to the 200 machine learning (ML) features and capabilities AWS added in 2018 alone.
The company made “Amazon Personalize” generally available during the quarter past: a fully-managed ML service that trains, tunes, and deploys custom, private machine learning models. The service makes the same ML capabilities Amazon.com uses to engage with millions of shoppers, the company boasts, so they can “easily develop applications with a wide array of personalisation use cases, including specific product recommendations, individualised search results, and customised direct marketing.”
Machine Learning is notoriously challenging for the uninitiated and skills are in short supply. A wide range of companies are offering managed ML services in a big to tap the market: from the cloud hyperscalers through to startups like Databricks and Peltarion.
Dob Todorov, CEO at HeleCloud – an advanced AWS consulting partner – and former AWS CTO, said in an emailed comment: “The continued revenue growth at AWS is a clear sign that more and more business – big and small – are moving to, and building in, the cloud. However, infamous “skills gap” continues to be a top challenge for UK businesses, with a lack of Cloud skills driving up costs and implementation times simultaneously. This is preventing many from meeting their business goals.
Todorov added: “In the short term, UK businesses should look to highly-skilled partners to help with Cloud strategy and implementation. In the long term, there should be closer communication and collaboration between educational institutions, UK businesses and technology companies, like AWS.
“One interesting initiative that we are exploring together with AWS is AWS Educate. This is a Global Amazon programme that aims to provide an academic gateway for educators and students to acquire more skills and provide the resource needed to accelerate their cloud skills. The idea of this initiative is to empower educational institutions with cloud access and boost their Agenda.”