AWS Public Sector Blog

The global digital skills landscape: Acquiring cloud skills is critical to workforce development

Over the past decade, cloud technology has been the driver of digital transformation, allowing organizations to operate with greater efficiency—and more importantly, innovate at speed. But as institutions of every size and type have discovered, keeping up with the pace of technological change can be difficult.

The key hurdle? Skills.

Building digital connections in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

Digital skills MENAOrganizations in both public and private sectors worldwide understand that they need to constantly evolve their workforces’ skills to keep up. In our Driving Cloud Skills Development in the Middle East and North Africa eBook, we highlight efforts across the public sector to set the course for digital success by equipping individuals with the right skills.

McKinsey forecasts by 2030 that 85 percent of elementary school students will work in professions that do not exist yet and 45 percent of current work in the MENA region will be automated. Governments can’t predict what those professions will be but they can give students the tools to help them thrive in a digital world. Examples include getting students coding and establishing supporting organizations with their digital strategies for the next decade.

Underpinning all this is the creation of strong communities made up of government bodies, education institutions, private businesses, and technology providers, who each play a role in enhancing skills-development initiatives. To close the knowledge gap and drive highly skilled economies, it’s clear that a collaborative approach is key for the public sector in all regions, regardless of how advanced their development is.

And the global outlook is…

Around the world, public sector organizations continue to learn from their private sector counterparts who are ahead of the curve investing in skills development. But investment isn’t only about money. Successful digital skills initiatives center on collaboration of different communities to accelerate digital literacy and digital growth.

Across Europe, there are numerous public sector programs focused on developing digital skills. The United Kingdom’s (UK’s) Digital Strategy, for example, sets out the government’s ambition to embed digital skills in the education curriculum. A core aspect of this is encouraging strong links among public, private, and nonprofit organizations. The European Commission echoes this sentiment about digital inclusion and opportunity for all citizens through its own Digital Single Market strategy.

However, the figures show that there is a glaring gap in skills fundamentals in the UK and Europe. According to research by Vanson Bourne, 40 percent of public sector institutions in the UK lack the necessary skills to adapt to digital transformation, with 41 percent having found they don’t have the internal skills for cloud migration projects. Similarly, in Europe, 37 percent of workers don’t have even basic digital skills. As a result, organizations need to increase their investment in emerging and developing technologies that will drive the agenda over the next 10 years. Building advanced skills in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI) and data science will allow organizations to fully take advantage of the cloud and drive commercial success.

No skills, no growth

In the United States (US), programs to encourage collaboration between employers and educators are helping to inform academic curriculums in an effort to get digital skills attainment on the agenda early on. Despite this, Accenture analysis suggests that the US could miss out on as much as US $975 billion of cumulative growth promised by intelligent technologies if they can’t meet future skills demand.

Putting workers at the heart of change

Latin America, while slow is its digital adoption, is gradually changing its attitude to investment in digital training, putting forward some key initiatives, such as:

  • Innovation labs, which connect civil servants, citizens, entrepreneurs, technology companies, and academia to find innovative solutions to public problems.
  • Awareness campaigns through social media to highlight the job opportunities available in the public sector.
  • Training agreements with universities and technology companies.

Capitalizing on the cloud

Cloud technology is critical to digital transformation, and governments can continue to make progress by equipping their populations with the cloud skills they need for the future.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is helping public sector organizations around the world to realize the potential of the cloud through education, training, and certification. Our portfolio of services is expanding every day, providing limitless possibilities for organizations that cultivate the specialist skills to activate innovation.

Download our eBook to learn more about cloud skills development.