Rapid prototyping and sustainable AI: why AWS Summit 2024 filled us with hope

AWS Summit London is always a highlight of the Daemon calendar, and this year’s event didn’t disappoint. Daemon was there in force, soaking up as much knowledge as possible and showcasing the ways in which we can help clients to embrace the latest in digital technology. 

We left the event buzzing with excitement, and with a renewed confidence in our own direction and values. Here are some of our key takeaways from AWS Summit 2024, and why they suggest a bright future for ourselves and our clients. 


AI for the masses

This year’s event covered every aspect of cloud computing, but one technology dominated the discussion. AI and ML have been the hot topic at the last few summits, but this year’s offerings felt like a definite step up. 

Daemon Senior Consultant Motse Lehata spent some time walking the floor and attending various talks and workshops. He was particularly struck by the recent advances in rapid prototyping tools which allow non-experts to build AI applications in a matter of minutes. As he explains, this could have a huge effect on the accessibility of AI and ML:

“You don’t have to be a machine learning specialist or an engineer anymore. Anyone with a basic understanding of an analytics tool like Power BI can log in and use these tools on a similar interface. It’s so easy now to deploy a machine model and start posing it questions. The ease with which you can make a user interface and have a rapid prototype of a fully featured app is quite amazing.”

Connect with Motse on LinkedIn

This democratisation of technology is something we’re very excited about. Easier access to AI tools could bring about all sorts of positive effects, especially when it comes to sustainability. As Motse explains, these tools will make it much easier for businesses to understand environmental regulations:

“If a new regulation is coming in that will be relevant to your organisation, you’ll be able to log into the AWS console, open up Bedrock and deploy a model in a few simple clicks. You can then throw the entire text of the new regulation into the model and have it summarise the key points for you. These regulations can be 200 pages long and, let’s face it, no one’s really reading them in full!” 

This will certainly save a lot of time, but it’s only the beginning. A recent report by Microsoft found that, by helping companies to design more effective sustainability initiatives,  AI tools could reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 4% in 2030. As Motse tells us, this is the kind of positive impact that we’re really excited about:

“You’ll be able to gather all of the existing documents in your organisation- Excel, PDF, whatever, and use these tools to get an idea of your current level of compliance in relation to new regulations. You can then start asking questions and the model can give you practical ways to improve. That’s what I was most impressed by.”


Getting down to business

While previous summits have focused on big ideas, this year’s event was all about the details. Businesses have developed a better understanding of AI, and a clearer idea of what they want from it. One in six UK companies now use at least one AI technology, rising to almost one in three in the IT sector. As our Head of Delivery Excellence Jimmy Headdon observes, this greater familiarity has led to a significant shift in client expectations:

“This year it felt like visitors were more opinionated on the industry trends, had a clearer picture of what they wanted to achieve and were open to discussing how they could realise that.”

Connect with Jimmy on LinkedIn

With visitors keen to talk business, exhibitors needed to focus on specific use cases rather than general capabilities. As our Head of Engineering Practice Henry Ayres observes, this created a more professional atmosphere at AWS 2024:

“This year’s delegates were far more mature in their thinking on what their use case was before they came to the summit.  This appeared to be the case not only for AI/ML, but across other requirements as well.”  

Connect with Henry on LinkedIn

20240424_082531 (1) (1)This suited us perfectly. We’ve always taken a pragmatic approach to technology, focusing on the solution that can add the most value for our clients.  We performed our share of demonstrations, but they were always a jumping off point for more practical conversations. 

Our work with Know-Me is a great example of this. Our Principal Machine Learning Consultant Damien Duff has been working with the company to create a chatbot that allows users to talk to historical figures in real time. There’s a lot of fun to be had with this technology but, as Damien explains, we kept things focused squarely on business: 

“Rather than pretending to be Julius Caesar, we asked the chatbot to talk about Daemon. A lot of people were interested in various iterations of this- whether they could put it on a help desk, use it for teaching or have it search through documents for the knowledge embedded in their business. We had a lot of conversations around these possibilities.” 

Read more about our work with Know-Me

We approached every demonstration in this way and the audience clearly appreciated it. As Jimmy notes, visitors to our stand were grateful for the practical nature of our advice:

“Many visitors commented on our demos as evidence of implementing AI. They said that there was a lot of emphasis on AI technology and tools across the industry, but not much on their implementations and realisation. We were able to provide this at our stand and they really enjoyed seeing it.”


Plenty to offer besides AI

AI might have been the topic on everyone’s lips, but AWS Summit is about more than one technology. The AWS platform is one of the most versatile cloud environments in the world and, as an official AWS Advanced Partner, we are uniquely placed to help businesses harness its power. We offer a wide range of AWS services covering everything from cloud migration to DevOps. As Henry explains, these offerings proved every bit as popular as our AI services:

“Not everything was AI!  We had really good interest in our Well Architectured Review and Cost Optimisation services that may provide exactly what a potential client requires to take control of their AWS estate.”

Our Well Architected Review generated a lot of interest among more tech-savvy businesses. This is a way for existing AWS customers to improve the performance of their cloud service. We take a deep dive into your AWS environment, using scanning tools and diagramming software to create a detailed picture of your workloads.  We then provide you with a remediation plan, highlighting the most urgent areas for improvement and setting out the steps you can take to align yourself with the AWS Well-Architected Framework. If you’d like to find out more about this service, don’t hesitate to get in touch

Read more: How our Well-Architected Review helped Superdry to get more from AWS


An exciting future

As well as being a chance to showcase our current offerings, AWS Summit is an opportunity to set a course for the future. A lot of what we saw mirrored the services that we already provide, suggesting that we’re on the right track. Rapid prototyping was everywhere this year, and this is something that we already offer as part of Ignite - our rapid prototyping service which aims to create a minimum viable product in just 2-4 weeks. 

As Motse tells us, it was great to see so much interest in the things that we do best:

“We’ve been putting a lot of effort into assisting organisations with rapid prototyping of AI use cases, and there was so much interest in exactly that. One of the talks was so oversubscribed that they had to repeat the session. It’s a very validating experience to arrive at a conference and see 30,000 people all interested in the same thing as you. As a technologist, you know you're definitely on the right track!” 

Rapid AI prototyping will bring with it a fresh set of challenges, so we’re fortunate to have had a head start in this area. We’ve had time to plan our approach and, as Damien explains, this means that we’re well equipped to help businesses overcome these difficulties:

“When it comes to AIML, it’s all about safety and control. There are 101 standard things that you can do for enterprises to make systems scalable, safe, robust and integrated. Bringing that stuff to AIML is going to be a big part of our future.” 

Whether you’re looking for revolutionary change or incremental improvements, we’re here to make AWS work for you. Talk to our team and start your cloud journey today.

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