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By Nicholas Ismail, Global Head of Brand Journalism, HCLTech


Day 1 at AWS re:Invent–the most vibrant event in cloud computing–saw thousands of technology and business leaders descend on Las Vegas in anticipation of the latest cloud developments that will shape, modernize and bring value to every business in every industry. 

At the event, Siki Giunta, EVP, Head - CloudSMART Offerings Strategy & Industry Cloud Consulting, commented: “All innovation in the cloud gets presented here. If you’re not here, you’re missing out.” 

Supply chain in the cloud 

AWS re:invent

In one of the first leadership sessions on ‘Smart manufacturing and supply chain in the cloud’, AWS GM of Industrials, Grant Bodley, highlighted the challenges that manufacturing organizations and supply chains face. 

He said: “Smart factory or the factories of the future are being held back by legacy technology and industry-wide workforce shortages. Manufacturers are facing a tough time getting anything out of siloed and disparate data sources and as a result, are limited in their ability to deal with the significant shifts in demand [across the supply chain].” 

During the same session, Alice DeBiasio, VP and General Manager, Refrigeration & Digital Solutions at Carrier, highlighted a specific challenge.  

Looking at the cold (supply) chain, which is the logistics network and transport of food and medicines in a cold or refrigerated environment, she said: “475 million tons food is wasted annually, this could feed 10 billion people, but a 1/3 of it is wasted.” 

The lack of interoperability, or access to data, is the main challenge across this complex environment. By working in the cloud, we can help identify and plug the gaps in the cold chain to make it more intelligent and improve the delivery of food and medicine to those who need it most. 

Getting buy-in for cloud and software initiatives in a manufacturing or supply chain environment is no longer an issue, according to Tony Hemmelgarn, CEO, Digital Industries Software at Siemens

He said in the same session: “[Cloud and] software has more impact on the success of industrial companies today than anything else. And now it’s a boardroom priority.” 

Delivering real world impact 

“The cloud is now focused on delivering capability, industry-specific solutions and business enablement with real, tangible impact. It has moved beyond being a data center in the sky,” said Giunta. 

Solving these real-world challenges requires a modern enterprise, one that is focused on innovation and operating in an agile way. 

“This modernization should be executed before or during the move to the cloud and is a sweet spot for HCLTech and CloudSMART. We can combine our deep knowledge of applications with the scalability of our infrastructure to deliver modernized capabilities with low risk to the customer,” she said. 

Looking ahead to next year, Giunta highlighted the importance of “normalizing and purifying data” in the cloud, so that it can become a key enabler for effective AI and ML solutions.  

“Enterprise data is still disparate and siloed. Once it is brought into the cloud, identified and tagged, organizations can really drive intelligent innovation and action to meet the world’s most pressing challenges, while adding significant business value,” she said. 

Responsible AI 

With the predicted rise of AI everywhere, the importance of practicing responsible AI can’t be understated. 

In another leadership session on Day 1, Aileen Smith, Head of Content Strategy, Diversity Marketing at AWS, broke down this topic. 

She said: “Responsible AI starts with people and actions. Building diverse teams to build AI brings more perspectives to the table to remove bias and mitigate unfairness. 

Responsible AI can’t work in a silo, it requires a multi-disciplinary effort from technology companies, policy holders and community groups to tackle the challenges of bias, unfairness, explainability, transparency, governance and privacy. 

“As AI becomes more pervasive, it’s not enough to design, develop and deploy. AI requires continuous testing and auditing,” added Smith. 

She also emphasized the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in the move to responsible AI. 

“We believe that AI should be human-centered and built to promote our shared values. When we include underrepresented individuals, we are building for them and with them. Diverse teams are crucial in building AI tech for everyone.  

“Machines can drive recommendations, but people drive decisions.” 

Stay tuned for more updates from HCLTech at AWS re:Invent throughout out the week on Straight Talk.