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How to not get Lost in the Clouds at AWS Re:Invent

Updated: May 16, 2019

~Written by Marc Jaffrey


Amazon Web Services (AWS) re:Invent is the world’s largest global cloud computing conference with more than 400 sessions, plentiful hands-on labs, bootcamps and one-on-one engagements.

While attending a cloud conference like AWS re:Invent, it’s easy to get swept up by the allure of cloud computing. The cloud promises an organization the capability to adapt in near real-time with seemingly limitless flexibility. Since the first Model T Ford rolled off the assembly line, the ability to flexibly match ever-shifting demands with minimal extra costs has been cornerstone of competitive advantage. Today, successful businesses relentlessly pursue scaling and shifting service delivery in real-time.


During AWS re:Invent, minimize risks of moving operations into the cloud by evaluating your steps and making sure a cloud strategy is firmly anchored with your business strategy.


Here are some tips to avoid getting lost in the clouds at AWS re:Invent.


Anchor #1: Know your business risks


Moving into the cloud brings new and shifted business risks. If the business risks of your cloud strategy are not properly understood, a misalignment may occur between cloud-based operations and business strategy – putting you potentially on track for extinction. As you explore AWS re:Invent’s endless choices, do you have a baseline of your current business risks to guide you?


Start with answering the following questions:

  1. What are your business risks as measured in the language of the boardroom (e.g. revenue, expense and uncertainty)?

  2. Have you leveraged all the available data to understand your business risks?

  3. Does your cloud strategy appropriately address business risks at all scales of operation including the possibility of business-disruptive events?

Anchor #2: Safeguard your data living in the cloud


Industry experts predict by 2020, there will be 20 or 30 billion connectable devices. Each of those devices represents a threat to a cloud-based business.


AWS re:Invent presents an array of possible strategies for the management of your data, but which ones are worth it? Ask hard questions of your cloud provider. Find out who is responsible for data breaches or threat situations. If numerous employees or third-party vendors have access to sensitive data, your degree of questions should increase.


Here are questions to ask:

  • What’s the classification of data that will be stored in the cloud?

  • What is the business risk profile of that data?

  • What level of backing up your data do you require?

Use this cheat sheet to see if your risk management program is failsafe in the cloud.


Anchor #3: Make sure your risk governance is suitable for cloud-based operations


The cloud offers significant advantages for your business but only if your cloud strategy is agile and not bogged down by unnecessary or cumbersome governance controls. Get the most out of your time at AWS re:Invent.


Consider these steps when building a suitable governance framework for your cloud operations:

  1. Make sure you’re clear on who owns what responsibility

  2. Get clarity on your cloud provider’s control environment

  3. Ensure governance controls are well defined

  4. Translate and extend your controls from on-premise to the cloud

  5. Handle compliance

  6. Think about continuity

Control your cloud-based operations and information, know where to start protecting your data and transfer your data safely. A more in-depth understanding is found on this 6 Steps to Getting Started in the Cloud SlideShare.


Think about these three anchors during and after AWS re:Invent to avoid floating away in the cloud. If you want to chat about risk management for cloud computing, contact infoedge for a complimentary consultation.


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