AWS Training and Certification Blog

Accelerating cloud outcomes through comprehensive skills enablement

It’s no secret that organizations around the globe are facing a shortage of talent with critical cloud skills, hampering their progress to achieve their cloud-adoption and digital-transformation ambitions. A survey from 451 Research shows that 85% of IT decision makers report shortages in cloud skills. There are simply not enough people with the knowledge, vision, and permission to realize the potential of cloud technology at the pace required for their organization.

We created AWS Skills Guild, a comprehensive cloud skills enablement program for large organizations, to accelerate their cloud-adoption journey and build cloud fluency across the organization. AWS Skills Guild began in Asia-Pacific in 2018 with customers such as National Australia Bank (NAB), Kmart Group, DXC Technology, and Deloitte broadly skilling their organizations on the cloud. We partnered with each customer to develop the cloud-educated talent their digital transformations require, empowering their skills, ownership, and confidence to innovate on behalf of their customers.

AWS Skills Guild now available to enterprises globally

AWS Skills Guild is now available to enterprises that are accelerating cloud adoption with large-scale training programs. Absa Group in South Africa, Globe Telecom in the Philippines, and Principal Financial Group in the Americas, are some of the newest participants. AWS Skills Guild helps these organizations accelerate their cloud outcomes, create excitement, increase employee engagement, and nurture a culture of continuous learning.

“A key outcome for Absa Group is that participants will develop an in-depth knowledge of how to create efficient, scalable, secure cloud solutions to meet our customer and regulatory needs. The bespoke training has been tailored to create a platform to drive broadscale digital transformations across Absa Group’s business units and support services,” said Andrew Baker, chief technology officer at Absa Group.

“We chose to embark on a comprehensive learning journey with AWS and use our program as a vehicle to build a community of cloud enthusiasts and practitioners to encourage transformation and innovation while maintaining customer satisfaction for our business,” said Rolly Torio, cloud guild head of Globe Telecom. “We want to create a proficient workforce that understands not just how to use the cloud but how to use it in the context of Globe. We aim to ensure that 100% of our IT team is AWS Certified within the next years. An internal guild we created will also create a blueprint for future cloud projects within Globe.”

Principal Financial Group launched its AWS Skills Guild journey with a goal of accelerating, growing, and upskilling talent in order to be well-positioned to continue building out the company’s application footprint in the cloud. Principal has identified a cohort of passionate engineers to develop an ecosystem of tools, processes, training, and platforms that can be leveraged across the globe to move more quickly in developing on the AWS platform.

“We are focused on providing the right resources for equipping our engineers to more rapidly develop and deploy solutions that meet our customers’ changing needs,” said Kathy Kay, chief information officer at Principal. “Our partnership with AWS is a key piece of growing our cloud footprint and, in turn, enables us to provide solutions that make financial security accessible to all.”

Accelerate cloud outcomes with skills training

An AWS Skills Guild engagement starts with a vocal executive sponsor from within the customer organization and a committed or planned large-scale training plan. We partner with you to identify gaps in cloud skills across the organization through an AWS Learning Needs Analysis and build a data-driven plan to develop the required skills.

Using best practices, workshops, events, classroom courses, and digital-training courses, we deliver a series of formal AWS Training courses and informal training events tailored to your organization’s needs. These are designed for employees from all facets of the business, including senior management, operational roles, and technical staff. By delivering cloud training to your whole organization, you create a common understanding of the cloud to increase collaboration and remove barriers to success for innovative technology projects across the organization.

When NAB embarked on its AWS Skills Guild journey, their goal was to accelerate their use of AWS technology and develop their employees’ AWS skills. NAB has trained more than 7,000 employees across its organization on the benefits of AWS and how to architect, develop, and operate an AWS Cloud and supported more than 1,300 employees to become AWS Certified. As a result of its investment in employee career growth, NAB has increased employee satisfaction and reduced its attrition rate from 20% to 8% among those who are AWS Certified.

Build a culture of innovation

In the short term, organizations that have undertaken an AWS Skills Guild have shown immediate impact to the efficiency of cloud use, with cost savings across services and storage. But even more significant is the impact to the long-term capabilities of an organization to innovate and lead change.

In the case of NAB, the bank accelerated its cloud adoption and business transformation by identifying thousands of workloads to migrate to AWS. Case in point, they migrated NAB Connect, a business banking platform, to the AWS Cloud, leading to improved security, scalable capacity, and improved platform resilience and reliability for customers. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, they moved their in-person call center staff to Amazon Connect. NAB’s AWS Certified engineers were able to flip to home-based call centers quickly and effectively because they had invested heavily in training and their engineers had pursued professional- and specialty-level AWS Certifications.

Kmart Group also took a business-wide approach with their AWS Skills Guild, developing skills across the organization to deliver solutions that ease and improve the customer experience. Through their guild, Kmart Group broke down the barriers between its technical and business professionals with a common language of the cloud, ultimately helping get to decisions faster.

Universal cloud training of more than 1400 staff—including the Kmart Group’s CEO, who is AWS Certified—changed the mindset of the business and drove the migration of its mainframe applications to the cloud. Having 100% of the IT team AWS Cloud certified means Kmart Group’s digital-transformation goals are well understood across the business and the full team is cheering for its success.

Future-focused cultural transformation

Your people are integral to defining and driving how the cloud will be successful in your organization. When an organization invests in creating cloud fluency and empowers employees to think big and design more inventive and ambitious solutions through learning and experimentation, it opens employees’ minds to their own potential. This commitment to continuous improvement on an individual level, at scale, can drive positive change at all levels of the organization—driving real business transformation.

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