Helping AWS partners fill their cloud skills gap
Partners in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Partner Network (APN) are increasingly adopting cloud and rapidly transforming their businesses to help their public sector customers achieve their missions. This transformation can create a challenge for organizations without the proper skills in their workforce.
A recent LinkedIn report found that top emerging jobs in 2018 were in areas like machine learning, software as a service (SaaS), and artificial intelligence (AI)¹. And according to the IDC FutureScape: Worldwide CIO Agenda 2019 Predictions, the talent pool for emerging technologies will be inadequate to fill at least 30% of global demand and effective skills development and retention will become differentiating strategies through 2022². There is no quick and easy way to fill the skills gap, but there are a number of areas to consider – and a number of AWS programs and partners that can help.
Training existing staff
While it is common to look outside the organization for people with relevant skills, the people needed to succeed are often already within your company. As highlighted in the AWS Enterprise Strategy blog, educating your existing staff can turn skeptical employees into true believers and will make a difference in how quickly you are able to leverage the cloud to deliver results to your business.
Training your existing staff can help: enable faster time-to-market; improvement in IT staff productivity; reduce business risk by improving the ability to overcome operational and performance concerns; and enhance employee engagement by boosting employee satisfaction
AWS Training and Certification uses a blended learning approach that combines digital learning, classroom courses, and a certification program. The AWS Partner Training team continues to invest in delivering training to our partners and can work to develop a training plan to upskill your business and technical teams.
As the number of available AWS services continue to grow, it is important for partners to prioritise the skills necessary to create go-to-market offerings that will define them in the market. Partners are building their own communities of partners – often small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) partners – to help increase the breadth of their offerings. For example, system integrators could work with specialist database migration partners, and large managed service providers (MSPs) could collaborate with DevOps specialist partners. These relationships are mutually beneficial for both partners and for the delivery of successful outcomes for our public sector customers.
AWS hosts numerous public sector partner events throughout the year, providing an opportunity to meet other partners in our community, and understand their offerings and skills with a view of potential collaboration and solution co-creation.
Finding skilled employees: AWS Educate & re/Start
Recruitment and retention are the top challenges in 2019, and with 50% of IT decision-makers struggling to fill their teams with skilled professionals³, there are several AWS programs that can help partners identify external staff.
AWS re/Start is a training and job placement program launched to educate 1,000 young adults, military veterans, reservists, and their spouses, on the latest software development and cloud computing technologies in the UK. The program, established with The Prince’s Trust and The Ministry of Defence, provides training and job placements to help participants launch a career in technology.
“From an employer’s perspective, AWS re/Start gives us engaged individuals with core skills that we can develop into fully rounded DevOps Engineers. Given the talent pool available from other channels is small, expensive, and highly competitive, we know that nurturing our own talent is the only way we can scale to our aspirations. The AWS re/Start programme is proving to be a great first step for this,” said Alan Richards, Head of DevOps, KPMG.
Additionally, on the AWS Educate Job Board – a feature of AWS Educate, Amazon’s global initiative to give students and educators comprehensive resources for building skills in cloud technology – employers have access to a pool of students who are trained and motivated to use AWS in a real-world environment. AWS partners seeking talent can post jobs at no cost and filter thousands of student profiles. In the UK, 17,000 students are registered and actively engaged in AWS training.
Finding skilled employees through AWS training partners
AWS has a number of training partners to help build the next generation of talent. Partners such as QA Consulting can provide fully trained graduate consultants skilled in capabilities that are in high demand and scarce supply. These partners specialise in providing talent and resources as a cost-effective alternative solution to the traditional freelance market, in areas such as software development and testing, business analysis, cloud, cyber, DevOps, big data, and artificial intelligence. This staffing model is designed to offer a competitive and flexible alternative to fulfilling immediate skills shortages, while also building a long-term talent pipeline.
Developing the next generation of talent for your business is critical. Work with an AWS Partner Manager to develop a plan, utilising the various AWS programs and offerings of our education partners, to help meet the present and future needs of your customers.