\u201cFriends don't let friends build data centers.\u201d\nThat slogan wasn\u2019t even printed on a real T-shirt you could buy. It was just one of the choices in an online poll to choose what Amazon Web Services CTO Werner Vogels should wear. But it pretty much captured the mood at the AWS Summit San Francisco last week, where Vogels gave the opening keynote to some 9,000 cloud-loving attendees.\n\nOn stage, Vogels crowed about multiple enterprises abandoning large numbers of data centers in order to move their workloads to the cloud. He cited Cox Automotive\u2014the company behind Autotrader, Dealer.com, Kelley Blue Book, and many more car-shopping brands\u2014\u201cgoing all in on AWS\u201d and closing more than 40 data centers. He noted that U.K. news provider News International is shutting down 60 data centers, and GE is closing approximately 30 data centers. And Vogels mentioned that the U.K.\u2019s Ministry of Justice was moving to AWS, as well, though he didn\u2019t say whether it was closing any data centers in the process.\n\nIf that\u2019s not enough, AWS announced that Shutterfly was \u201cmigrating all of its core production applications and its more than 75-petabyte image library to AWS.\u201d\nClosing data centers qualifies as a trend\nNow, not all of these moves are new, of course, and the outfits mentioned are not necessarily moving all of their workloads to the cloud and shutting down all of their data centers. And even when you add them all up, we\u2019re talking about fewer than 150 data centers.\nBut still, you don\u2019t have to be a journalism major to see that there\u2019s a trend here. Ticking off industries from oil and gas to financial services, Werner told the AWS Summit crowd, \u201cThere\u2019s not a vertical in the enterprise world that is not making use of AWS in some way.\u201d\nIt seems clear that enterprises are moving increasing numbers of workloads to the cloud. It seems equally obvious that this migration is removing the need for quite so many proprietary enterprise data centers.\nHuge and hard-to-predict changes\nWhile proprietary enterprise data centers will never disappear completely, the shift to the cloud is bound to have huge and hard-to-predict effects on many elements of the IT industry. The transformation is likely to drive changes in employment opportunities for sysadmins and other operations folks and put increased pressure on broadband infrastructure to connect even more enterprises and their customers the cloud. It will change how enterprise IT allocates resources, push down Capex commitments, and raise Opex spending. And it\u2019s already changing the market\u2014and the customers\u2014for the equipment that goes inside those data centers.\nTo be honest, no one really knows how this will all play out. But make no mistake, it\u2019s happening.