Webcast: How AWS cloud helps companies put innovation first

Learn the secret of two-pizza teams and other aids to creating an agile environment

Promo Amazon Web Services has launched a series of videos to provide an insider’s view of how the cloud can help businesses stay one step ahead of their competitors.

The secret lies in a handful of groundbreaking rules, including one of the most surprising: break free of the R&D department.

Instead of restricting the creation of new ideas to one silo, AWS likes to let everyone in the company suggest and try out new concepts, both good and bad. “You need a culture where failure is not merely accepted but celebrated,” says Darren Mowry, managing director, business development, AWS EMEA.

AWS’s flexible, on-demand cloud infrastructure encourages this, enabling companies to launch new initiatives without having to invest heavily in time and new IT infrastructure. Constant customer feedback helps to keep improving the product or service, and if it doesn’t take off, the project can be abandoned without great loss.

People matter as much as technology and AWS hires staff who like to move quickly. Employees are grouped into what it calls “two-pizza teams” – outfits small enough to be fed on two pizzas – who can make decisions and see a product through without going through elaborate chains of command.

Equally unusual is the principle of “working backwards.” The first thing the company does is to write the press release when it plans a new product, rather than wait till the product is ready to launch. This helps to set in stone the direction its teams have decided to take and lays out a path for them to get there.

Watch the first in the series to hear AWS's Darren Mowry talk about the ways of working at AWS and the wider Amazon family. You can see it here and also sign up for forthcoming episodes in the series.

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