BP - Why using AWS has helped us push the cloud revolution

Producing around 3.3 million barrels of oil through operations in over 70 countries, BP is one of the world’s largest energy companies.

With so many crucial operations around the world, it’s no surprise that a reliable and robust IT system is required to keep everything on track and running smoothly.

"IT underpins every single part of our business at BP", Claire Dickson, the CIO of BP Downstream, which focuses on the refining and marketing of fuels, lubricants, and petrochemicals told the recent AWS Summit in London.

"Our world is changing really quickly - we have a responsibility to react to that...and that requires interesting technology."

"When we talk about innovation, we don't just want IT to innovate in our company, we want the business to innovate - and if we can innovate with the business, that's where the magic happens."

BP has been working with Amazon Web Services over the past few years to improve the efficiency of its workplace practices. The company decided to go “all-in” on a cloud-centric approach around a year ago, Dickson revealed, and looked to AWS to provide the tools and services it needed.

This includes utilising several Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) R4 instances to run large in-memory applications, taking a huge chunk of back-end computing off BP’s own hands, allowing greater flexibility and efficiency all round.

The results, Dickson says, have been impressive.

"(Adopting AWS) has been quite revolutionary," she revealed, noting that the company has already seen around a 30-40 per cent reduction in the total cost of IT hosting, and a third reduction in terms of the cost base for its five SAP systems - and it is not even fully optimised yet.

AWS has also provided training for BP employees in order to get them up to speed with the new systems, which also include a cloud patching system that Dickson notes is “magnitudes faster” now.

Looking forward, BP is looking to work even more closely with AWS, and hopes the relationship will continue to bear fruit going into the future.

"We've loved collaborating with Amazon...they've gone above and beyond,” Dickson said.

"The elastic capacity that we get from the cloud is something that has massively allowing us to change and transform how we operate today. I know people talk about a revolution with cloud...but what else in IT is cheaper, faster and better?"