AWS Training and Certification Blog

Steps to implement cloud skilling programs to jump-start digital transformation

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As more organizations are investing in digital transformation to accelerate business growth and competitive positioning, they’re quickly finding they lack the necessary cloud-skilled talent to help reach their cloud goals. This critical talent shortage is stalling organizations’ ability to migrate to, and maximize the power of the cloud. With competition high for the shallow pool of tenured cloud talent, reskilling and upskilling existing talent is the only reasonable strategy. Leaders who move quickly to equip their employees with cloud skills put their organizations in prime position to achieve their digital transformation.

This blog post shares actionable steps leaders can take now to stand up cloud skills training programs for their workforce to support their cloud business goals, retain valuable talent, and become an organization where skills development is the key ingredient to innovation. The following tips are also captured in a webinar event hosted by Coursera and AWS.

Articulate the business case for skilling your existing talent

In order to accelerate cloud skills development within your organization, technology leaders need to make the business case to invest in upskilling and reskilling their existing talent – and showcase the strategic return on investment (ROI) of doing so. To get you started, a recent AWS Global Digital Skills study said that 87% of employers report that investments in digital skills training for their workers have allowed their organizations to achieve digital transformation goals more quickly. From the employee standpoint, taking part in digital training also improves job efficiency, according to 86% of respondents, and higher job satisfaction (82%). Both of these factors help companies realize time-to-value more quickly.

Further, a Forrester Total Economic Impact study found that very large enterprises realized a 234% ROI in AWS Training and Certification services. As you look at the opportunities for your organization to grow and innovate with the cloud, the decision to invest in your staff’s skills development becomes a no-brainer.

Tailoring and scaling learning programs to goals for growth

Once the organization is aligned to invest in a comprehensive skills training program, it’s time to take stock of your organization’s current skills strengths and gaps. Work backwards from your business goals to identify the skills your organization needs to cultivate. Leaders can take advantage of the AWS Learning Needs Analysis, which is a free self-assessment tool that helps identify the organization’s cloud skills gaps and provide a tailored training and certification plan to close them.

Creating the right mix of in-demand & specialized technical skills

With the skills your organization needs identified, the next step is to provide the learning pathways to your employees. Equipping your talent with the right technical content, based on their unique skill development needs, is key. Leaders may choose to start small and experiment with a pilot group of staff, and then scale the training programs to larger sets of employees as they find success.

Leveraging recommendations from AWS, your employees have access to AWS Training and Certification’s extensive library of free courses and training resources on AWS Skill Builder. These include more than 500 digital courses, learning plans for role- and domain-specific learning, and interactive training, like AWS Cloud Quest, a role-based game where players use AWS services to complete tasks and earn rewards to transform a virtual city. Learners can choose from foundational, intermediate, and advanced trainings.

AWS Training Partner, Coursera, also offers AWS-authored training along with other cloud education resources. Getting Started with AWS Machine Learning, AWS Cloud Technical Essentials, and AWS Fundamentals: Building Serverless Applications are some of the AWS Cloud training courses offered by Coursera. In addition, Clips on Coursera enables employees to begin learning new skills in under 10 minutes via short videos such as AWS Global Infrastructure, Interacting with AWS, and Introduction to AWS Identity and Access Management.

Measuring success

Being able to demonstrate your organization’s ROI of training staff is imperative to maintaining leadership support and funding. AWS Skill Builder Team subscription allows leaders to assign training to drive targeted skills and assess progress. Built-in reports show course enrollment, course progress, completion rates, and more. Coursera’s Skills Development Dashboards create an instant ROI snapshot that helps you visualize the impact of your employees’ training. Framing ROI conversations with concrete metrics drives home the benefits of your training strategy.

Get started today

The opportunities that digital transformation offers begin with skilled employees. Organizations that are serious about maximizing the cloud for their growth will want to have a plan in place to create a cloud-first culture among all staff. Training today’s workforce requires a focus on meeting employees where they are and building a culture to embrace learning at every level of technical proficiency.

Learn more about AWS Training and Certification and Coursera.