AWS 2021: join our IT team to discover the future of cloud computing

29 November 2021

For nearly a decade, businesses have increasingly turned to cloud computing in order to manage their IT resources. From start-ups to global corporations, companies rely on the cloud in order to cut costs, increase speed and performance, and ensure reliability and business continuity. 

Many of today’s most innovative technologies are in fact native to the cloud, such as those that help store data or build interfaces that customers use to browse and share information. Furthermore, advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence are making cloud services indispensable to analyse data and uncover customer insights. 

In the cloud, innovation moves at a break-neck pace. And for businesses wanting to stay at the cutting edge, it’s essential to make an effort to keep up. 

This week, developers and  cloud computing enthusiasts from around the world will gather in Las Vegas for what is known as the biggest and most influential conference in cloud computing. After last year’s virtual event, the annual Amazon Web Services (AWS) re:Invent user conference is back in a hybrid format this year, running from 29 November - 3 December. And as part of Euler Hermes’s commitment to innovation, we are sending a team of developers to the physical conference to discover what’s next in this space. 

Our teams look after the online tools that our clients use every day. They work to improve efficiency and the overall user experience across our platforms, while ensuring data sharing is safe and reliable. At the AWS conference, they will explore the new trends and technologies coming up in cloud computing. Here’s what our team will be looking out for this week. 

On the agenda for this year’s re:Invent conference are expert-led training sessions on AWS solutions and presentations on topics ranging from corporate citizenship, to the digital supply chain of the future, to driving innovation with machine learning. There will also be practical ‘labs’, where builders can practice their craft in real-world cloud scenarios; interactive demonstrations of new products; and keynote speeches revealing new insights.

For data scientist Hamza Benchekroun, AWS CEO Adam Selipsky’s keynote will be one to watch. “I think there will be huge announcements,” he says, pointing to last year’s reveal of new capabilities in serverless computing through AWS’s Lambda programme. 

This year, Hamza is expecting more news around serverless, which enables users to run apps and handle data without having to manage their own server, as well as on machine learning and quantum computing. “It’ll be exciting to see new uses of quantum computing in financial services,” says Hamza. Quantum computing, which enables the use of quantum mechanics to solve complex problems, has not rolled out to FinTech companies. But our experts believe it’s a technology to keep a close eye on.” 

Senior developer David Medragh, also attending the conference on behalf of Euler Hermes, adds: “Say you’re doing a job that would take 100 years to complete with today’s technology. With quantum computing, it would take 10 seconds. We will need to know how to use it in the future.”

For others, the main draw of the conference is seeing how advances in the cloud can influence each other. “What I’m interested in is how all the topics fit together,” says IT architect Patrick Kosieniak. “There are many key topics, such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and what can be achieved with quantum computing or machine learning. For me, it’s about how one little advancement on one side can enable new capabilities for the other ones.”

Security engineer Guillaume Chambert agrees: “I’d like to see big announcements on features that would ease the interconnection of the AWS ecosystem with other technologies. For example, I’d like to see a generalization of mTLS [Mutual Transport Layer Security authentication, an encryption process that can help fight cyber fraud through apps]. It would also be nice to have better fine-grained egress filtering [monitoring the flow of information between networks]: the AWS Network Firewall announced at re:Invent 2020 was a first step in this direction – one year later, it’s time for an update.”

For tech lead Benjamin Houdu, event-driven architecture and serverless technology will be key. “Especially, topics related to data observability and integration, as they are very important for many Euler Hermes use cases,” he explains. “I’ll be focused on real testimonies or working use cases that could inspire us and bring us ready-to-implement solutions.

“The event is a great place to share knowledge on what is used at scale.” 
Benjamin Houdu, Tech Lead, Euler Hermes

Data safety is a natural concern in cloud computing, and especially for financial services. “As a security engineer, I expect to improve my knowledge about how to secure AWS products, how to orchestrate the various security products and features provided by AWS, and how to scale our controls at the same speed as our infrastructure,” Guillaume says. “I have the biggest expectations for the ‘Automated Reasoning: protect data through provable security’ talk. In  cybersecurity, it’s always difficult to make sure that our controls cover all possible attack paths. Provable security gives you the assurance that there is no loophole.”

“My priority is data technologies, in particular ideas around the management of data warehouses, the securing of access to data and the management of data in real time,” says data engineer Marwen Taleb. Other key sessions for Marwen and his team will be those dedicated to improving processes for ‘smart contracts’ in financial companies, and to analysing real-time data in data lakes (systems for storing raw or neutralised data). “It is a challenge that we face today in my team,” Marwen says.

“As a security engineer, I expect to improve my knowledge about how to secure AWS products.”
Guillaume Chambert, Security Engineer, Euler Hermes

The conference’s busy schedule will also allocate plenty of time for casual exchanges between attendees. For many, the opportunities to network will be just as important as learning sessions and talks. “re:Invent is a unique opportunity to meet brilliant people,” Guillaume says. “There are online communities around AWS and cloud security, but it doesn’t compare to meeting people in person.”

“There will be tech leaders from many big companies. We’ll be able to chat about how to leverage services and best practices, to expand our own networks and, as ambassadors for our company, explore potential partnerships,” Hamza says. 

Expectations are high for this year’s AWS re:Invent conference, and our colleagues are sure to bring back valuable insights on the future of cloud technology as well as its place in financial services. As Benjamin puts it, “it is one of the biggest events worldwide for IT – as an IT professional it is something to see for yourself!”

However, if you can’t make it to Las Vegas this year, we’ve got you covered. Make sure to check back in right here after the event, when our team on the ground will provide a recap of this year’s highlights and essential news. 

“It’ll be exciting to see new uses of quantum computing in financial services.”
Hamza Benchekroun, Data Scientist, Euler Hermes