Thousands of businesses and government agencies have moved to the cloud, and many of them use Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Last week, during the AWS re:Invent event  in Las Vegas, Amazon CTO Werner Vogels shared with these users what they can expect with the next generation of application architectures in the cloud -- where IT can concern itself with rapidly changing business cycles and an evolving and adapting business environment rather than hardware resources.

“I have always defined cloud computing by the benefits,” Vogels said. “As cool [as] the technology is, the benefits really drive this home.” And the main benefits of cloud computing, he said, are cost savings, agility and ease of use. IT organizations are not constrained by hardware limitations as they were in the past, he said, and it's in large part because of the cloud.

Vogels also detailed his Four Commandments of 21st Century Architectures -- architectures, he said that "would be the foundation for how the next generation of applications will be built."

And his four commandments are that architectures in the cloud be controllable, resilient, adaptive and data-driven. In order to support the business,  21st century architectures must adhere to these four rules.

Mirroring comments by CIOs recently interviewed by Government Technology, Vogels also highlighted the increased focus IT organizations are placing on business rather than technical resources.

To illustrate the details of one of Vogels' commandments of modern architectures, AWS Chief Data Scientist Matt Wood said the company's cloud services are flexible because they allow the addition and removal of resources as an organization needs them.

For the popular social networking site Pinterest, Operations Engineer Ryan Park said that because Pinterest has always operated from the cloud, the company could take the best cloud designs that they found and implement them in their system -- not being tied to any legacy systems. Park reported findings similar to what Vogels had shared on the stage moments before: The cloud is useful because it is flexible, scalable and makes use of metrics, allowing the organization the information it needs to adapt and the capability to do so.

And AWS Vice President of Storage Services Alyssa Henry promoted the virtue of adaptability as present in Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3). “There were a number of things we didn't know for sure when we launched S3, but we did know that things were likely to change," she said. "So it was important to build the service in such the way that we had loosely coupled services that would allow us to adapt and evolve it over time.”

And with the ever-growing and changing needs of government, cloud computing is proving its significance in this sector.

Watch the 100-minute keynote presentation below:

Main image from Shutterstock

Colin Wood  |  Staff Writer

Colin has been writing for Government Technology since 2010. He lives in Seattle with his wife and their dog. He can be reached at cwood@govtech.com