AWS Training and Certification Blog

Verisk builds cloud skills and streamlines cloud adoption in a complex global business

Founded 50 years ago, Verisk is a leading global provider of predictive analytics and decision-support solutions. With 9,000 employees in more than 30 countries, Verisk serves customers in the insurance, energy, financial services, and specialized markets.

Verisk seeks to deliver highly differentiated services and exceptional customer experiences. For more than five years, the company has used the AWS Cloud to assist in this mission. Verisk’s Director of Strategic Technology, Robert Dorn said Verisk chose AWS because the company wanted to work with the market leader and with a cloud provider committed to ongoing innovation. The company continually strives to provide advanced solutions to its customers’ most complex challenges and the move to the cloud is an important part of that commitment.

Bringing all employees on the cloud migration journey

One of the complexities Verisk faces in reaching its cloud migration goal is the makeup of its business. Verisk’s rapid growth and strategic acquisitions have led to varied stages of cloud adoption across the organization; some parts of the business are already building cloud-native applications, some are lifting and shifting to the cloud, and others are just getting started on their cloud migration journey.

Verisk recognized the importance of building cloud skills across the company to help its business units successfully execute their innovation strategies.

“We want our entire team to be cloud builders. An important part of Verisk’s commitment to moving to the cloud is making sure that every one of our employees has an opportunity to be part of the journey,” said Dorn.

To make this happen, Verisk has offered a variety of cloud education opportunities to all kinds of employees of all backgrounds in both business and technical roles.

Accelerating cloud capabilities through skills training

Verisk had already seen success in starting to build cloud capabilities with education programs when the company learned about AWS Skills Guild. The Verisk team recognized the potential of implementing a proven framework to complement what they were already doing and to accelerate cloud knowledge and capabilities across its organization.

Verisk launched its own AWS Skills Guild program and called it the Verisk Cloud Academy. The company is achieving better migration results in less time thanks to the additional resources, which bolster its existing training programs.

“The framework works really well, whether you’re already up and running or you’re starting from scratch. Working alongside AWS has been great. They’re always doing what they can to make it easier for us to succeed with our program,” said Dorn.

Using the Skills Guild framework, Verisk built anticipation and excitement internally around its program and made a remarkable impact.

“We expected a few hundred people to attend our online Cloud Academy launch event. But 1,450 people joined,” recalled Dorn. “This really reinforced both the level of interest and the need for cloud education across our business.”

At the event, Verisk’s Chief Technical Officer, Eric Schneider, spoke about Verisk’s cloud adoption journey. As the executive sponsor of the Cloud Academy, he shared recent successes with AWS and how the cloud is helping Verisk accomplish its business objectives and accelerate its innovation agenda. Verisk Chief Information Officer, Nicholas Daffan, and AWS Evangelist, Jeff Barr, also spoke about the importance of continuous learning, both for individuals and the organization.

Championing the challenge

Beyond the splash of a launch event, the company’s Cloud Academy Champions have played an important role in maintaining momentum. Verisk identified key team members to serve as Champions and empowered them to build excitement around the program, share their knowledge and experiences, and celebrate the successes of key cloud projects. Verisk even started a Champions blog on its intranet, which has become a key destination for employees seeking information on the migration.

Since the launch, the number of Champions has grown to 50 team members from across the company’s various businesses and locations. When the initial program targets were set, achieving 200 AWS Certifications was the goal. But when the Champions were asked to set their certification targets, the number went beyond 400.

AWS Certifications increase cloud fluency

A challenge in a big business, especially in one that’s experienced rapid growth, is achieving consistency and collaboration. Verisk is addressing this through increased cloud fluency and a common cloud vocabulary across their business. By taking part in the AWS Global Cloud Practitioner Certification Challenge, they’ve driven hundreds of AWS Certifications across their team. In the fiercely competitive cloud talent environment, Verisk has taken a major step toward closing their cloud skills gap. Improving base knowledge about the cloud and having people across the business—from salespeople to HR professionals—talking to each other fluently about the cloud is an important step for Verisk.

“We are a business that invests in our employees and their futures. By educating team members of all backgrounds about the cloud, we have empowered colleagues without a technical background to come up with creative applications and innovations, something that would have been highly unlikely before we got started. A salesperson’s cloud knowledge might allow them to cast a lens on the experience of our sales tools, for example, and to come up with an innovation or idea that boosts productivity. We’re seeing the impact across the business,” said Dorn.

Through the Skills Guild and the AWS Certification challenge, Verisk is on track to achieve its goal of earning 400 AWS Certifications in the calendar year. In a business that spans the globe and serves diverse industries, it became effective to have automation frameworks, repeatable processes, and components based in AWS. With a growing number of cloud-fluent staff across their global offices, Verisk is building new cloud opportunities in its businesses and creating more efficient and scalable services and solutions.

Interested in learning more about AWS Skills Guild? Learn about how you can jump-start your cloud transformation to achieve powerful, measurable, and sustainable results.