AWS Training and Certification Blog

Build your cloud transformation plan with comprehensive skills training

The cloud offers huge potential for delivering successful, innovative business outcomes when compared to common models deployed today. There’s no question that businesses are eager to reap the real and growing benefits of the cloud. However, this eagerness is often met with the reality of talent shortages. In fact, 90 percent of IT decision makers say their businesses are lacking in professionals with adequate cloud skills, a situation that can easily disrupt plans for growth and innovation (451 Research).

For most organizations, waiting for talent to emerge can’t happen fast enough to solve the skills gap organically. The good news is that solutions exist for businesses facing cloud skills gaps. One solution proven to be effective is the integration of a comprehensive training program within each organization’s larger cloud initiative. Comprehensive training is an enterprise-wide training initiative aimed at multiple stakeholders with varying levels of cloud sophistication. It consists of deep technical training for key teams in specific areas—based on identified skills gaps—and broad training in cloud fundamentals for general stakeholders. Customers can use an AWS Learning Needs Analysis (LNA) solution to identify the cloud skills gaps within their organizations and receive guidance on how to fill them.

When comprehensive training is part of your cloud plan, you are more likely to experience success. In fact, you are 3.8 times more likely to meet cloud ROI requirements with comprehensive training (IDC)

From building your teams’ skills to encouraging a cloud-first mindset, a comprehensive training approach helps you create your own pools of cloud talent, which is instrumental in helping your organization’s cloud-adoption goals.

Comprehensive training: by the numbers

Organizations that invest in comprehensive training see significant returns on their investments and are 80 percent faster to adopt the cloud, compared to those that invest in minimal training alone. They are also 81 percent more likely to progress to the next milestone of their cloud adoption journey within 24 months.

Comprehensive training has been proven to encourage a cloud-first mindset. Organizations that are comprehensively trained are almost three times more likely to realize that the cloud can help jump-start innovation and nearly five times more likely to overcome operational and performance concerns (IDC).

Build cloud fluency throughout your organization

As you plan your cloud training, developers, cloud architects, and data scientists aren’t the only individuals in your organization who should receive training. Make it a point to nurture and promote cloud fluency across the business—including senior directors and managers tasked with leading others on your cloud journey.

Spreading cloud fluency throughout your whole organization yields many benefits:

  • It provides your employees with the skills and the confidence to innovate faster and experiment more broadly.
  • Barriers between business and technical staff dissipate, with everyone using common terminology and conversing more fluently in the language of cloud.
  • Teams can collaborate more efficiently, translating customer needs into technical solutions.

These factors, combined with a newfound cloud-first mindset, will help your organization succeed with its digital transformation initiatives and better deliver against customer expectations.

Build your cloud advocate communities

Comprehensive cloud training begins by enabling a core group of expert employees who understand the potential and practical application of the cloud. We call this your Cloud Enablement Engine (CEE). Your CEE is comprised of small teams of cloud experts, drawn from different roles within the organization—such as developers, network engineers, database administrators, or security or finance experts. They are dedicated to evangelizing and institutionalizing best practices and frameworks and managing the organization’s leap to the cloud. The CEE offers continuous learning experiences through peer-to-peer learning, recognition of accomplishments, and innovative approaches to utilize the new skills.

Embracing the cloud as an “enablement engine” results in a technology shift at almost every level of business operations. The CEE helps manage this change as the single owner for the organization’s cloud initiatives, maintaining certainty and efficiency at every stage of the journey. Once the CEE has been functioning for about a year or more, its focus will shift to continuous improvement and driving innovation.

Training modalities

Comprehensive training provides a choice of learning methods and includes on-site and virtual private learning, digital training, classroom courses, events, and programs with goal markers and curriculum tracks. It provides plans for who gets trained in which domains and a schedule for when they get trained, as well as how that training is delivered. These trainings can also foster opportunities for hands-on, real-world projects and gamified engagements that create excitement around the process of becoming cloud fluent. The next article will outline how the training is delivered.

Choose a cloud partner with a holistic approach

When an organization chooses a cloud technology provider, it’s doing more than investing in another technology product or service. Viewing the cloud technology provider as an essential partner in the cloud journey will help businesses integrate the comprehensive training programs needed to equip their teams with the skills to deploy and manage their cloud technologies. For more information, contact us.


Maureen Lonergan is Director of Training and Certification for Amazon Web Services (AWS), where she leads a team of builders committed to training the next generation of diverse cloud talent. Maureen helps AWS customers, partners, and employees to gain the skills and knowledge to unlock the power of the AWS Cloud in the age of digital transformation.