AWS Summit Exceeds the 10,000 Attendees Mark

The current success of Amazon Web Services in Spain is reflected in a new attendance record at its congress in Madrid.

AWS held its most important local congress this week, the AWS Summit 2024 at IFEMA (Madrid), where it registered a record attendance of more than 10,000 professionals.

The event has been growing over the last few years (with the pandemic’s permission), but this year’s edition coincides in time with the announcement of a new investment by the public cloud provider in our country of 15.7 billion euros, which has generated even more expectation, if possible.

More and more projects are being developed using the technology and services provided by AWS. One of the keys to this growth is that its consumption model allows organisations of any size and sector to access the latest technology. Some have started these developments from scratch natively in the cloud, but more and more companies are making the leap from on-premise to superscalar systems, as well as tackling hybrid and multicloud deployments.

Its partners have also played a big part in this steady growth by making it easier for their customers to make the leap to these increasingly complex and sophisticated models. And here, in its ecosystem of integrators and ISVs, we can also find companies of all sizes, from small startups specialising in AWS technology to large consulting firms. Everyone has a place in AWS because it is synonymous with the democratisation of the latest technology, which until recently could only be afforded by large companies.

However, the public cloud has radically changed this paradigm and is one of the secrets of Amazon Web Services’ success in Spain.

New investment announced by AWS in Spain

On the occasion of the AWS Summit, this writer had the opportunity to chat with Suzanna Curic, Country Lead for AWS in Iberia, who confirmed this fact and offered us the keys to the huge investment that the provider is making in our country to turn it into a technology hub for southern Europe over the next few years: “It is a journey that began four years ago, when AWS announced its new Cloud Region in Spain, specifically in Aragon. It has been up and running for a year and a half now to serve Spanish companies. Many of them had asked us for certain capabilities, such as lower latency or the possibility of keeping their data in Spanish territory, so it has been a great success.”

The surprise came a few days ago with the announcement by AWS of an additional investment of 15.7 billion euros over the next few years, also in the Aragon Cloud Region. This figure is six times the amount announced in the first phase.

Suzana Curic, AWS Country Lead for Iberia, during the press conference held on the occasion of the AWS Summit 2024.

When asked about this, Curic explained that the reasons for this decision lay not only in the great interest of the Spanish business ecosystem, but also in the facilities provided by the Autonomous Community of Aragon when it came to ceding the land, as well as the characteristics that will allow the deployment of renewable energy facilities that will feed both the data centres and the citizens and businesses in the region.

Certainly, AWS’s commitment to sustainability is beyond question and by 2025 it aims to run all operations on renewable energy, as well as returning more water to the environment than is consumed in its data centre facilities.

This investment plan will generate 17,500 jobs annually, both directly and indirectly. “Overall, we estimate that this project will help generate 21.6 billion euros to the national GDP by 2033,” said Curic.

More than 10,000 professionals attended the congress.

In terms of training, one of the challenges facing the technology industry in general, AWS is making a major effort to ensure that both public universities and business schools have the necessary subjects to teach students so that they are truly prepared to face the job market.

For Curic, this is a key aspect of the huge investment made. Globally, AWS has set a target of training 29 million people over the next few years, two million of them in artificial intelligence skills.

AI at the heart of the projects

Artificial intelligence was the main protagonist of the day: “Generative AI can help reinvent the customer experience and transform the way products and services are created,” said Deepak Singh, vice president of Next Generation Developer Experience at AWS, during the opening speech of the AWS Summit.

AWS has been developing AI in all its aspects for years, as well as facilitating the execution of these algorithms or storing the huge amount of information processed during training or inference.

The key, according to Curic, is to democratise AI so that all companies can make use of it in their businesses: “Organisations of all types and sizes are already using AI and generative AI to innovate and transform the way they create products and services to deliver unique and personalised experiences.

The AWS Summit exhibition area, both at the sponsors’ booths and at AWS itself, was packed with AI-related demonstrations: IoT, industrial, hospitality, digital avatars, robotics, technology in the service of society, and a long list of AI use cases that are becoming a reality in business and our daily lives. And this has only just begun.