AWS invests $13.2 billion into Australian cloud infrastructure

Rianne Van Veldhuizen, Managing Director at Amazon Web Services, Australia
Rianne Van Veldhuizen, Managing Director at Amazon Web Services, Australia

Recently, Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced it plans and prospects to invest approximately AU$13.2 billion in its existing cloud infrastructure in Sydney and Melbourne from 2023 to 2027 to meet growing customer demand for cloud services all across Australia.

What is the industry value of the AWS investment?

According to the newly launched AWS Economic Impact Study (EIS) for Australia by Amazon Web Services, this big and favourable investment is estimated to contribute approximately AU$35 billion to Australia’s total gross domestic product (GDP) by the middle of 2027.

This planned investment into Amazon Web Services’ data center infrastructure in Australia will support an estimated average of 11,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs at local Australian businesses every year. These employment positions, including fields such as construction, facility maintenance, engineering, telecommunications, and other jobs within the country’s broader economy, are part of the Amazon Web Services data center supply chain in Australia.

The new AWS Economic Impact Study (EIS) details Amazon Web Services’ investment since 2012 and its planned investment by the year 2027 in Australia, as well as the ripple effects that come from that investment such as workforce development, training and skilling opportunities, community impacts such as education for students, as well as various sustainability initiatives.

Since the launch of the AWS Asia Pacific (Sydney) Region in 2012, Amazon Web Services has invested more than AU$9.1 billion across Australia. This includes the capital and operating expenditures associated with constructing, operating, and maintaining the AWS Sydney Region. Amazon Web Services estimates that this investment added AU$19.2 billion to Australia’s total GDP and supported an annual average of over 5,000 FTE jobs at countrywide local businesses.

The total investment of AU$9.1 billion includes AU$630 million of investment in network infrastructure to extend the Amazon Web Services cloud and edge infrastructure across Australia and, with telecommunications partners, to facilitate high-speed fiber connectivity within, and between, AWS Availability Zones. An Availability Zone (AZ) is one or more discrete data centers with redundant power, networking, as well as connectivity in an AWS Region.

How is the AWS investment uplifting Australia’s economy?

Expanding infrastructure presence, AWS launched its AWS Asia Pacific (Melbourne) Region in January 2023 to provide customers with more options to run workloads with greater resilience and availability, securely store data in Australia, and serve end users with even lower latency.

Amazon and its subsidiaries employ more than 7,000 Australian people. Since establishing AWS’s domestic presence in Sydney in 2011, AWS has grown its direct workforce to support customers and partners, and to manage its infrastructure portfolio. In addition to headquarters in Sydney, AWS has established offices in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, and Canberra.

Amazon will open a new combined AWS and Amazon retail office in Melbourne in late 2023 to house its Victorian-based workforce. Hundreds of thousands of organisations in Australia are using AWS technology and services today including enterprises like Atlassian, Qantas and National Australia Bank, startups like Swoop Aero as well as Omniscient Nuerotechnology.

Public sector organisations like Australian Bureau of Statistics, NSW Health Pathology and Department of Education, Western Australia. Businesses are a part of the AWS Partner Network (APN) that use programs, expertise, resources to build, market, and sell customer offerings. The APN in Australia includes organizations like Versent, CMD Solutions, and DNX Solutions.

Custom-built for the cloud and designed to meet the most stringent global security requirements, AWS infrastructure is monitored 24/7 to help support confidentiality, integrity, and availability of customers’ data. Customers build on AWS knowing they can always control their data, including the ability to encrypt it, move it, and manage their retention at any time.

How is AWS upskilling the Australian digital workforce?

Amazon Web Services infrastructure creates several positive ripple effects across the Australian economy, including in digital skills training and certification. AWS shares the Australian government’s vision of addressing the country’s growing tech skills shortage by having 1.2 million people in tech jobs by 2030. AWS is committed to addressing the cloud skills gap in Australia and has trained more than 300,000 people in Australia with cloud skills since 2017.

Amazon Web Services offers Australian learners with basic, intermediate, and advanced cloud skills through professional tailored training programs, meeting customers where they are at in their cloud adoption journey and then helping them accelerate and achieve their career goals.

How is AWS promoting sustainability among businesses?

Amazon is committed to becoming a more sustainable corporation and reaching net-zero carbon across its operations by 2040, 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement, as part of The Climate Pledge. Amazon co-founded The Climate Pledge and became its first signatory back in 2019. Today, more than 400 organisations spanning 55 industries and 35 countries globally have signed the Pledge. In 2021, Canva was the first Australian signatory to the same Pledge.

As part of its Climate Pledge commitment, Amazon is also on a path to power its operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025, five years ahead of the original 2030 target. Amazon is the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy, and in Australia, Amazon announced its continuous commitment to offtake 262 megawatts (MW) combined in renewable energy capacity across three working utility-scale renewable projects located all over Australia.

Two of these, located in Suntop and Gunnedah in New South Wales (NSW) are already operational as of May 2022. Once the working wind farm in Hawkesdale, Victoria, also becomes operational, it will boost the Amazon projects’ combined yearly renewable energy generation to 717,000 MWh or nearly enough for nearly 115,000 homes all over Australia.

Organisations that move to Amazon Web Services can also highly benefit from the net effect of Amazon’s sustainability efforts to reduce their general carbon footprint, and AWS cloud services help customers in Australia innovate to meet their own business sustainability goals.

According to 451 Research, computing in the cloud is five times more energy efficient than on-premises data centers in the Asia Pacific, including Australia, and moving IT workloads from on-premises to cloud would reduce associated carbon emissions on average by nearly 80%.

What are the executive remarks about the invesment?

“Digital transformation is integral to Australia’s future prosperity. A whole-of-nation effort is then required to ensure that Australia and its citizens and businesses can be resilient, secure, and very prosperous,” said the Honourable Anthony Albanese, Prime Minister of Australia.

“Economic and infrastructure investment from cloud providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS) helps create jobs for Australians, advance their digital skills, boost innovation projects, and uplift local communities and businesses. The Australian Government acknowledges AWS’s investment into the nation over the past decade and welcomes its planned investment over the next five years, the full-time jobs supported annually, and contribution to the nation’s GDP.”

Honourable Anthony Albanese, Prime Minister of Australia
Honourable Anthony Albanese, Prime Minister of Australia

“For over a decade, Amazon Web Services has invested billions of dollars into Australia through infrastructure and jobs and has since then worked closely with the public sector, and local customers as well as partners, to be a force multiplier across the entire nation,” said Rianne Van Veldhuizen, Amazon Web Services Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand.

“Cloud computing is the backbone of Australia and its several local businesses, helping drive innovation across many key industries in our thriving economy. We are committed to positive social and economic impact, investing in local community engagement programs, workforce development initiatives, cloud infrastructure, and renewable energy project investments.”

“Our plan to invest more than AU$13 billion into the country over the next five years will help create positive ripple effects, further solidifying Australia’s position in the global economy.”

Kate Pounder, Chief Executive Officer of the Tech Council of Australia, said, “Investments from tech companies like Amazon Web Services in Australia have an outsized positive impact on the wider economy. Not only do they bring the direct financing and jobs, but their cloud infrastructure has also enabled the growth of a globally competitive Australian software sector, which has become one of the most successful new industries created in Australia in decades.”

“The support for digital skilling also enables our workforce to learn from leading tech companies, with spillover benefits across the Australian economy. The tech sector will be a key driver of future prosperity in Australia, and AWS’s contribution will help propel us forward.”


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