I’m often asked how a startup like Element can be successful working with a cloud hyperscaler like AWS, especially lately with our announcement of a deeper integration with the AWS industrial stack, so I thought I’d share a few thoughts.
With data becoming a strategic asset for every company there’s a big generational shift happening in data infrastructure that more seamlessly integrates edge-to-cloud and provides citizen developers access to the IT/OT data they need, when they need it. Cloud vendors like AWS have the infrastructure and services available, that open up opportunities to exploit data resources fast and affordably. What used to take months and quarters, can now take minutes and seconds.
The AWS industrial stack helps our customers to exploit these benefits, and it’s not just faster, it’s easier. AWS’ edge-to-cloud architecture and the breadth of services makes it easy for independent software vendors like Element to deploy our products for use by customers, allowing them to build global services that can be run on the cloud and the edge, and leveraged across the enterprise to achieve immediate value.
The AWS team understands the architectural challenges experienced by industrial companies working to unify their IT and OT data. For years AWS has been evolving and delivering solutions, “dog-fooding” their own products within Amazon to address daily operational challenges in new and innovative ways. They understand the realities of moving system-of-record data from the plant to the cloud, how to address challenging infosec requirements, and the need to align with the plant manager’s data ownership responsibilities.
AWS also understands that operational analytics is a journey requiring a solid equipment monitoring foundation that can scale up to multi-equipment, multi-site deployments with products like AWS IoT Sitewise that also unlocks richer diagnostic analytics as more data sources are added, producing even better ROI. Once formed, this data foundation can begin to support AI-driven adaptive control and more autonomous operations.
AWS is expanding its footprint and reputation in the industrial sector which is important to ISV’s like Element selling into these markets. Their business is growing in important sectors that make modern life possible: Energy; Utilities; Life Sciences; and Chemicals to name a few. Industrial engineers we speak with appreciate AWS’ track record of focusing on developer needs.
These many inveterate tinkerers in the engineering ranks at industrials also like the sheer breadth and depth of the AWS services offerings, across compute, storage, database, analytics, mobile and developer tools. This is being enriched further by new equipment monitoring applications purpose built for industrials like AWS IoT Sitewise and AWS Lookout for Equipment.
Most important for Element is AWS’ commitment to building a partner ecosystem. No single vendor, including AWS, can unify IT and OT across all requirements. AWS through its sector-specific architectures and its partner-focused Industrial Machine Connectivity (IMC) initiative make possible a seamless solution for industrial asset owner-operators, enabling them to unlock significant stranded value. This is great for ISV’s like us.
At Element, we believe the world's industrial companies can unify their IT/OT data to achieve cleaner, safer, healthier and more profitable operations. We know that AWS believes that too. They’re investing in core technologies and a partner ecosystem to do just that, and we’re excited to partner with them on behalf of our customers.