Join us at AWS Summit London for a peek over the horizon of what cloud can do for people

Technology can sometimes appear quite one-dimensional – take facial recognition, for example. Most people associate it with security, enabling you to gain access to your phone or laptop. But facial recognition can be used for so much more than that, and improve the lives of people in unexpected ways in the process.

Facial recognition is just one of the many exciting things that will be explored at the AWS Summit London, as I will get into in a moment. The rapidly approaching event will be taking place on Wednesday 8th May at the ExCel centre in London’s Docklands, and I’m excited to be hearing from Rackspace customers and other stellar speakers about how innovation continues to push cloud technology past its boundaries. I expect this day will inspire us all to take a step back and look at things in new ways.

A free event, AWS London is a landmark summit for all cloud users old or new, providing a chance to explore what’s new and emerging. An immersive day of keynote speeches, there’s over 40 breakout sessions, a solution expo, and networking opportunities and access to AWS experts. It’s certain to have something to cater to anyone’s interest.

While many tech summits focus on product launches or partnership announcements, I’m particularly looking forward to this because it’s a chance to put your ear to the ground and see what’s coming, and how AWS Services are being utilising across multiple segments.

Pushing the capabilities of cloud with Kubernetes

A key focus for us at Rackspace this year is Kubernetes, as this is increasingly becoming the tool of choice for companies of all sizes to drive their cloud native ambitions. We’re gearing up to launch our own Amazon Kubernetes service in the next few weeks, positioning ourselves as the experts with Rackspace Kubernetes-as-a-Service to help customers deploy, scale and manage their growing number of containerised applications. But this event won’t focus on the launch – this is about pushing the envelope for technology, and getting inspired by what’s rapidly becoming possible.

I’m also excited to hear more about developments in some other of this year’s hot topics: machine learning, the Internet of Things (IoT), as well as the classical themes of cloud governance, how to use the right AWS tools, and how to migrate business critical applications. I will also be participating in a “Ask the Expert” session and I am looking forward to explaining how the game Fortnite is driving cloud organisational design, as well as helping to foster innovation in many of our customers.

Exploring how technology can help people

We’re always interested in how our customers are experiencing technology, and how they are using it to tackle real business problems. One of the presenters at AWS London is William Hill, the gambling company. I’m particularly keen to hear what they have to say because I used to work for their competitor, Betfair, and I continue to take an interest in the challenges of this industry. William Hill will be talking about how they use Amazon’s recognition software to protect and support their customers – a subject close to my heart.

The gambling industry is increasingly committed to helping people with addictions, and technology is proving a vital tool in ensuring it remains fun – the industry campaign name sums it up: “When the fun stops, stop.” In order to help people do just that, William Hill is making creative use of Amazon’s image recognition software. Betting shops will let people lock themselves out of their accounts for a time if they feel they need a break, but there’s nothing stopping them from setting up a new account – facial recognition software makes this impossible. This is a great example of how new technologies aren’t just driving revenues, but can also genuinely help people who might otherwise be vulnerable.

I look forward to seeing Tiffany Hall, the CIO of Cancer Research UK, at the AWS Summit, who’ll be be speaking about innovation, diversity and inclusion across the public sector. Tiffany attended our Rackspace breakfast briefing on how charities can keep pace with digital advancements – 45% of charities need to modernise their infrastructure, according to the The Charity Digital Skills report. Rackspace already works with the British Heart Foundation (BHF), and I had the pleasure of presenting at the BHF 2030 strategy launch this week. It’s been a pleasure for Rackspace to help the BHF upgrade their omni-channel offerings to provide a seamless experience to their 60 million visitors, while also continuing to raise funds and awareness of their cause.

The AWS Summit will have in attendance representatives from public sector institutes such as the University of East London. It’s heartwarming to see this industry-wide focus on what the technology that advances business can also be used to help people in the not-for-profit and public sector spaces.

Learning the internal secrets of Amazon’s success

At the AWS Summit London, Amazon will be revealing some of its own secret sauce for how the company builds and scales so efficiently. I’m intrigued to learn more about how Amazon drives innovation within their company, especially from Matt Garman, VP of AWS Computer Services, and from Dave McCann VP of AWS Marketplace, who will both be there on 8th May. I’ll be attending Amazon’s sessions to find out more about how they run DevOps, their best practices, how they design and develop their products, and their process for incorporating customer requests and feedback as they take new concepts from idea to market.

There are several interesting How To-sessions coming up at AWS Summit, diving into how to run applications, how to integrate, how to operate, and how to build a data-driven architectures. There’s a panel on how Amazon’s leadership drives innovation that I’m really intrigued by – Rackspace has a significant product range that we deliver to 250,000 customers every single day, but I’m sure there are lessons that we can take home with us.

AWS Summit London is going to be a packed day, from registration opening bright and early with a non-stop schedule. In addition to exploring the world of Kubernetes, I’ll be sure not to miss Tiffany Hall, the CIO of Cancer Research UK. And of course, the innovation in the gambling space is something that I care a lot about, so that should be an enlightening presentation. I trust we will all go home on the 8th of May inspired to keep driving innovation in cloud technology. We’re still working out where the future is headed, and it really is all up to us what happens next.

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Before joining Rackspace as EMEA Chief Technology Officer, Lee gathered his experience developing and delivering industry leading cloud, analytics and SAP services for global organisations, culminating in an innovation award for building BP’s first multi-cloud platform. As part of the Betfair team he was responsible for the delivery of a Devops driven platform that performed more transactions than all the European stock markets each day. Lee recently moved into IT services and using his experience he has delivered global cloud transformations, advanced analytics platforms and cloud inspired organisational transformation for a number of major organisations. At Rackspace, Lee is responsible for helping our customers maximise their cloud investments across people, process and technology as well developing new Rackspace products and services. Lee is a proud father of four, and you may well find him managing an under 12 football team, striking a golf ball in random directions and partaking in Rugby League matches.

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