Who's using AWS? Who are the biggest AWS users, and what kind of workloads are they using AWS for?
Here's a spoiler: If you're looking at AWS for enterprise-level deployment, you have plenty of company, and if your enterprise is already using AWS, you're in very good company indeed.
According to Amazon, the number of active AWS users exceeds 1,000,000.
While small and mid-size companies make up the majority of that user base, recent polls by private consulting firms suggest that enterprise-scale users make up at least 10% of that total.
Whether it’s technology giants, television networks, banks, food manufacturers or governments, many different organisations are using AWS to develop, deploy and host applications.
Here are the names that are on record publicly as using AWS:
Aon, Adobe, Airbnb, Alcatel-Lucent, AOL, Acquia, AdRoll, AEG, Alert Logic, Autodesk, Bitdefender, BMW, British Gas, Baidu, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Canon, Capital One, Channel 4, Chef, Citrix, Coinbase, Comcast, Coursera, Disney, Docker, Dow Jones, European Space Agency, ESPN, Expedia, Financial Times, FINRA, General Electric, GoSquared, Guardian News & Media, Harvard Medical School, Hearst Corporation, Hitachi, HTC, IMDb, International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, International Civil Aviation Organization, ITV, iZettle, Johnson & Johnson, JustGiving, JWT, Kaplan, Kellogg’s, Lamborghini, Lonely Planet, Lyft, Made.com, McDonalds, NASA, NASDAQ OMX, National Rail Enquiries, National Trust, Netflix, News International, News UK, Nokia, Nordstrom, Novartis, Pfizer, Philips, Pinterest, Quantas, Reddit, Sage, Samsung, SAP, Schneider Electric, Scribd, Securitas Direct, Siemens, Slack, Sony, SoundCloud, Spotify, Square Enix, Tata Motors, The Weather Company, Twitch, Turner Broadcasting,Ticketmaster, Time Inc., Trainline, Ubisoft, UCAS, Unilever, US Department of State, USDA Food and Nutrition Service, UK Ministry of Justice, Vodafone Italy, WeTransfer, WIX, Xiaomi, Yelp, Zynga and Zillow.
Clearly, AWS is the cloud computing platform of choice for businesses across a range of industries. But who are the biggest, and how much money are they spending on these services?
According to Intricately, the top ten AWS users based on EC2 monthly spend are:
Now that you have a better understanding of the different types of AWS customers, you’re probably wondering how they actually use the platform? Here are a few examples:
Among enterprises, Netflix was the most prominent early user of AWS, adopting it in 2009.
According to an article in Business Insider from January 2016, Netflix placed enormous demands on the resources available to AWS at the time, often pushing the service to its limits and beyond. The ongoing pressure from Netflix, combined with Amazon's willingness to improve its service and meet its customers' requirements, pushed AWS to develop into the full, enterprise-scale integrated set of services that it is today.
By mid-2015, Netflix had gone ‘all-in', closing the last of its major data centres and moving all of its IT operations to AWS. Other enterprises have also gone all-in with AWS, including Intuit, Hertz, and Time, Inc. These companies have demonstrated their willingness to trust AWS with their entire IT operations, including transactions, customer databases, and the rest of the information infrastructure on which they depend. This level of commitment and trust on the part of long-established (and often very conservative) enterprises speaks volumes about the ability of AWS to meet the needs of enterprise-level clients.
According to Amazon, Netflix uses more than 100,000 server instances on AWS for “nearly all its computing and storage needs.'' This includes databases, analytics, recommendation engines and video transcoding.
Speaking about the firm’s use of Amazon Kinesis Streams, Senior Software Engineer John Bennett said it “processes multiple terabytes of log data each day and that “events show up in our analytics in seconds”. He added: “We can discover and respond to issues in real time, ensuring high availability and a great customer experience."
You believe in developing your employees. You know that investment in annual training is the right thing to do. But you’re not seeing the change you want. The vision of a healthy, high performing company still seems far off.
We’ve all experienced this. “The workshop was great.” “The speaker was engaging.” You leave with a feeling of exhilaration that things are really going to change this time. But after a few weeks you realize that things are back to the way they were before the workshop.
To address this very common problem, let’s discuss two things: 1) Why it happens and 2) What to do about it.
We are creatures of habit. Our habits are engrained with years (sometimes decades) of repeated behaviors that have worked for us. The conventional wisdom is that it takes three months to change a good habit and six months to change a bad one. Change is not automatic. Here’s the good news. We all have the potential to change – even radical change.
Unless we constantly reinforce new skills over 3-6 months it is unlikely that the change will stick. There needs to be a way to reinforce the desired change on a regular basis.
We are surrounded by others who are also creatures of habit. When we come back from a workshop, ready to change, others around us are used to the old way of doing things. They naturally resist change and impact you by virtue of their close proximity. They will act in ways that reinforce the old habits.
These influences (your own habits and others), make up the culture of your organization. Changing that culture begins with you. You must intentionally persevere against this inertia until the change becomes permanent.
So how do you do this? What follows are the three secrets to permanent change and finally getting a high ROI on your training investment.
Start at the top. The first key to getting a high ROI on your training is to get the buy-in and application by your senior executive team. Otherwise the initiative will go into the category of the latest workshop of the month. Here are some tips for executive involvement:
Follow-up coaching. Visibility and examples from the top are key, but not the whole story of a successful implementation. Each employee must have someone to remind him or her of the need to apply the new approach regularly. This is where coaching comes in. This is the secret sauce that makes it really stick.
Over the past decade, professional coaching has quietly become the state-of-the-art method to develop professionals. It works because it syncs up with how we are designed to change – with repetition and over time.
Here’s how it works. A coach comes alongside the employee on a regular basis to remind them of the new skills and hold them accountable for putting them into practice. Each attendee will inevitably face challenges applying the material and will need someone outside the organization to help them overcome these challenges. The coach is not subject to the inertia of the old habits, but will remain steadfast and hold each employee accountable for change.
As a professional coach I’ve seen this work at organizations large and small and across many industries. Training + Coaching works.
Peer Accountability. Have each team member give account to their peers for their new behavior. Do quarterly assessments that measure the new behavior to show progress – or lack of it. Many think they are making progress only to find that others don’t agree. Change doesn’t count unless others see it too. The only way to know is to commit to it and measure progress. Then act on the feedback until others agree.
There it is. This works. Guaranteed. If you do these three things, the desired change will happen. If it doesn’t, one of these three steps wasn’t done.
Jim Franks is a Strategic Advisor/Coach for the OSU Alber Enterprise Center (AEC). He is passionate about helping leaders build healthy, high performing companies. For more information about how the AEC can help your organization implement the solutions you want leading to the success you need, please call (740)725-6325 for a no-cost, no-obligation needs analysis.