AWS re:Invent 2021 predictions

By | November 6, 2021

AWS has grown into an IT version of its parent Amazon: a sprawling online marketplace where buyers can find anything they need. What is Amazon? A grocery store? Drugstore? Hardware and home center? Electronics mart? Book, music and movie store? Indeed, it’s all of these rolled into an app delivering a convenient, frictionless shopping experience. AWS has evolved into the same thing for IT services: a place with something for every need. Thus, predicting what AWS might introduce at re:Invent has become less interesting as it’s grown more predictable by annually providing more of the same.

  • More instance types further tailored to different applications with a recent focus on AI development, model training and inference.
  • Additional management features to automate cloud operations, security configuration and resource optimizations.
  • New database configurations to accommodate those few enterprise apps not already supported.
  • Better price-performance as AWS exploits improved processor, storage and network technology and, recently, by employing custom chip designs using alternative processor (Arm) and machine learning architectures.

Although AWS has become the all-in-one superstore for cloud infrastructure, it lags behind its largest competitors, Microsoft and Google, in products designed for the new, post-Covid hybrid workforce dependent on cloud productivity, collaboration, messaging and video services. While AWS has some SaaS products, what it calls Business Applications, services like WorkDocs, WorkMail and WorkSpaces (VDI) pale in comparison to category leaders like Office 365 and Google Workspace. Furthermore, these Business Applications don’t adequately address capabilities like group collaboration (Slack) and real-time communications (Zoom). A key selling point of Microsoft and Google when negotiating enterprise cloud deals is their ability to provide both infrastructure and workforce applications. Expect AWS to start closing this feature gap at re:Invent via a combination of new products and close partnerships with one or more category leaders like Box, Dropbox, Cisco (Webex) and Zoho.