That's when Schachter and his team decided to go with AWS.
At the Department of Transportation, much of what they do is on a map. AWS enables them to keep that map in the cloud and build apps to put that information in the palm of users' hands. The city's old mainframe systems simply weren't able to help build those kinds of apps.
The city uses the AWS cloud to build and run its public-facing apps, like its public transit app, which gives users real-time bus, subway and Citi Bike information.
"The public can directly access that information," said Schachter. "The code lives with Amazon and every time you load the app, you get a fresh version of the code and data. It's always up-to-date. We can deploy new code and new features on our schedule."
Shopping with the cloud
For Nordstrom, Inc., an upscale U.S.-based fashion retailer, their developers use the cloud to achieve continuous delivery.
"We're doing multiple launches a day," said Keith Homewood, infrastructure engineer with Nordstrom. Developers are "out there taking customer feedback, adapting and deploying several times a day."
Nordstrom started out using multiple cloud vendors but has winnowed it down to just AWS.
And using the cloud, according to Homewood, makes them fast on their feet when it comes to creating new apps and updating apps to help customers receive personalized shopping recommendations and other types of notifications -- or even get stylist advice.
"Our customers expect us to change constantly," he said. "We have to move at the speed of business... We couldn't do it without the cloud in that same dynamic fashion. It's like the cloud is made up of a fleet of speedboats and we're going to need it to make those quick turns."
If you enjoyed reading this article, and would like to learn more about the topic of transformation, you might want to register for the CIO Summit 2015. Attendance is complimentary for qualified registrants. Please visit http://www.cio-asia.com/summit2015.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.