AWS Touts Its Status as GE's 'Preferred' Cloud
General Electric (GE) is throwing its support behind Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its "preferred" in-house cloud provider, the two companies announced this week.
Founded over a century ago, GE has been taking steps since 2011 to transform itself into what it calls a "digital industrial" company, though the transition has not always been smooth. In 2015, the company launched its industrial cloud platform, Predix Cloud, with plans to run it out of its own datacenters that had yet to be built.
GE abandoned that strategy a year later, citing the massive competitive advantages of hyperscale cloud providers like AWS and Microsoft Azure, which have spent the past few years aggressively building out their datacenter infrastructures worldwide. Rather than run Predix out of its own cloud datacenters, GE decided to run it out of AWS and Azure instead.
GE announced in mid-2016 that it was partnering with Microsoft to offer Predix on Azure, with additional integrations coming down the pipeline. GE's relationship with AWS goes even further back; the Predix Cloud got its bones from an earlier data analytics platform that GE developed with AWS, along with Accenture and Pivotal.
In addition to leveraging AWS to power its customer-facing offerings, GE is also using it to streamline its internal operations. In 2014, GE began a three-year process to move over 9,000 workloads to AWS, with the goal of eventually reducing its datacenter footprint from 34 to just four.
In the announcement this week, AWS revealed that GE has already moved over 2,000 internal applications to its cloud and that multiple GE business units -- including GE Power, GE Aviation, GE Healthcare, GE Transportation, and GE Digital -- are now running the bulk of their applications on AWS.
"Adopting a cloud-first strategy with AWS is helping our IT teams get out of the business of building and running data centers and refocus our resources on innovation as we undergo one of the largest and most important transformations in GE's history," said Chris Drumgoole, GE's CTO and corporate vice president, in a statement. "We chose AWS as the preferred cloud provider for GE because AWS's industry leading cloud services have allowed us to push the boundaries, think big, and deliver better outcomes for GE."