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Meeting the God of Cloud Computing

Zafar Anjum | Dec. 23, 2014
“The whole world runs on AWS today,” said Dr. Werner Vogels, the chief technology officer of and Amazon Web Services (AWS). In this exclusive interview with Zafar Anjum, Dr. Vogels discusses the latest cloud computing trends in Asia and how young businesses are changing the rules of the game

"The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and kicking here in Asia," Dr. Vogels said. "And here it is a normal way of life to be an entrepreneur. If you go to Indonesia and Malaysia, starting a new business is normal. Your parents won't disinherit you if you start a new business. It is good. To be an internet entrepreneur is OK for everyone. More and more entrepreneurs are trying to build sustainable businesses in Asia. We see a whole range. Whereas in the US, the Internet entrepreneurs are all growing for a billion dollar exit, you will see that 95 percent or 98 percent of them will fail. Here we see totally different rates. We see many more young Internet entrepreneurs building a sustainable business which they may be doing for the rest of their lives."

"The whole world runs on AWS today," Dr. Vogels said. "From young business to medium to big businesses (from Airbnb to Four Seasons chain of hotels)-all are running on AWS."

When I asked him about the impact of the Internet of Things (IoT), he said that IoT combined with analytics will be very powerful. For example, sports is already big on this. IoT will be a powerful tool for 'Sentiment control'. But it is still the early days for IoT. "It is not even at the beginning yet," he said.

Cloud security-Snowden and the world of cloud computing

When I had conducted the interview, the Snowden story was still hot and its security implications were being widely discussed.

"We were not part of the NSA programme," Dr. Vogels said by way of clarification. "Our customers manage and secure their own data. So our business is not impacted by it."

"It (the Snowden revelations) is a great thing in the sense that it brings security to the forefront," he said. "Maybe two, three years ago customers might have asked why we needed to encrypt our data. After the Snowden revelations, customers realize why they should be doing this and the tools we give them is sufficient (for security purposes). Three to four years from now, everything will be encrypted which will be good."

"As Neelie Kroes, the head of the digital agenda at the EU, said, spying is probably the world's second oldest profession and it is not going to go away," he further added. "These guys have just gone digital and that's what has happened. Spies will remain spies no matter what laws you put in place."

"If your house is being broken into, you don't need a lawyer. You need a good lock," he concluded. "And AWS is all about providing our customers the absolute best locks, so that they and they alone decide who gets access to their data."


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