Interview with Edge Women of the Year Finalist. Elaine Liew – Head of Hybrid Cloud, Edge Computing ,Asia Pacific Japan, Worldwide Public Sector at AWS
In the lead-up to Edge Computing World, we’re taking some time to speak to this year’s finalists for The Edge Women of the Year Award.
Today we’re talking to Elaine Liew, Head of Hybrid Cloud, Edge Computing ,Asia Pacific Japan, Worldwide Public Sector at AWS
- How do you see the edge market developing over the next few years?
Businesses are moving to the cloud faster than ever before, but running workloads at the edge can be challenging. Some companies cannot simply upload data to the cloud due to lack of connectivity because they operate workloads on a ship, others want to process data locally because they’re operating manufacturing lines that produce terabytes of data every hour, and then there are regulations that may restrict sensitive data from being transferred, such as in a hospital or financial institution. As the edge market segment continues to develop, we’ll see more innovations to extend all the benefits of the cloud to wherever you need them—from on-premises data centers, to large metro areas and 5G networks, to IoT devices in smart buildings and factories, to space and beyond—delivering high-performance, intelligent applications that can overcome the latency, residency, and process challenges for the modern era.
- How does diversity benefit the edge environment?
A mixed set of skills and knowledge is needed to deploy applications at the edge. From business knowledge of your industry to effective communications and project management skills to know the process of automation engineering, telecommunication and network, infrastructures, cloud, data analysis, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and containers and application development. It is critical to have a diversity of the workforce to help address the vast spectrum of skill sets needed in an edge environment and bring more ideas and creativity, which in turn drives more innovations.
Diverse teams working in inclusive cultures build more innovative solutions that work better for more customers. Multiple studies have shown this, and so workforce diversity and inclusive culture are business imperatives at AWS.
- Tell us one lesson you’ve learned that’s unique to being a female leader in the Edge space.
One lesson I have learned is to stay curious and challenge myself to discover new edge use cases from our customers and partners. I like to learn from others and keep pace with technology. Whenever I encounter new challenges, I lean on one of the AWS Leadership Principles, “Learn and Be Curious” to remind myself to be curious about new possibilities and act to explore them. This is very helpful when I am driving edge adoptions in my role.
- What advice would you give to other women entering the edge space?
I would encourage them to think of the edge as an enabler to help businesses operate more efficiently, offering real-time insights and enhancing user experience, not just a cluster of hardware and software. Always consider working backwards from the customers’ requirements will help avoid a pure technical sales pitch. Do not be afraid of the technical terms and jargon, and I encourage them to find mentors and colleagues to shadow as they learn.
- What are some ways in which you have helped to support and lift other women in the space up?
I am nominated as one of AWS Culture Champions to help others feel inclusive and embrace the AWS leadership principles. I share my scope of work with other women regularly to explain the benefits of edge computing and excite them to learn more. I also participate in mentoring circles where I commit time to mentoring newcomers, particularly women. For example, I recently received feedback from one of my mentees, who said she felt inspired to learn more and stay updated and relevant after our conversations. Outside work, I contribute to my university alumni, women’s board network, and career switchers.