AWS Training and Certification Blog

Prioritizing People: 4 Strategies that Make or Break Cloud Migrations and Beyond (AWS re:Invent 2022)

AWS re:Invent 2022 may be behind us but you can catch replays on AWS’ YouTube channel, including the breakout session from AWS Training and Certification.

Prioritizing People: 4 Strategies that Make or Break Cloud Migrations and Beyond, presented by Sabina Joseph, director of strategic industries, AWS Training and Certification, outlined the tremendous growth of cloud and how organizations can maximize their investment, and overcome cloud skills gap challenges, with four key strategies focused on people.

Sabina was joined by Suren Pillay, chief technology officer, Absa Group and Rona Spiegel, director of Cloud Governance and Operations, Cisco, who shared their organization’s perspective on implementing a training framework to upskill thousands of employees in cloud to drive business growth and innovation.

Watch the full session on YouTube now, and continue reading for key takeaways from the presentation.

The cloud skills gap continues to be a critical blocker to cloud adoption, migration, and innovation.

As the shift to cloud computing accelerates, the global workforce has failed to keep up. Five million cloud jobs are unfilled globally, and 64% of decision makers say cloud skill gaps exist across their teams. We have reason to believe cloud jobs will continue to accelerate, despite current macro-economic headwinds. According to Gartner, worldwide spending on public cloud services is forecast to grow from $490 billion in 2022 to over $1 trillion by 2026, a compound annual growth rate of 20%. And a study released in October by Enterprise Strategy Group found over the next 24 months, 75% of surveyed organizations plan to increase cloud headcount by more than 20%.

Now is the time to invest in closing skill gaps to secure your cloud investment and the future of your business.

Through 2024, 65% of businesses won’t get full value from cloud investments due to skills shortages. And by 2026, businesses that don’t effectively address the talent and digital skills gap in their organization will constrain revenue growth opportunities by 20%.

Four strategies to make or break your organization’s cloud success:

1/ Commit to innovation by investing in building the cloud skills of your existing workforce.

Investing in the skills of your workforce secures your investment in the cloud. A financial analysis by Forrester found that organizations that invest in AWS Training and Certification see payback in less than six months and 234% return on investment (ROI) over three years. This ROI is a result of: an 88% increase in cloud innovation; 30-50% increase app migration rates, 10-35% increase in employee retention, 20-30% decrease in learner ramp-up time, and filling 20-30% of open roles by upskilling existing staff vs. hiring new employees.

As part of its efforts to adopt AWS and successfully operate in the cloud, Absa Bank in South Africa worked with AWS Training and Certification and implemented the training framework from AWS Skills Guild to upskill 4,500 employees and achieve 400 AWS Certifications in 18 months. As a result of its upskilling efforts, Absa transformed from a model of chasing tickets and racking servers to a model of durable teams that can move and pursue value quickly on AWS.

2/ Create connection for employees by cultivating a culture of learning.

When leaders cultivate a culture of learning, employees are happier, do better work, and are motivated to stay. AWS Training and Certification learners say the program not only improved their ability to accelerate cloud migrations (84%), but grew job satisfaction by getting selected to work on cloud projects (90%), and were less likely to seek employment elsewhere as a result of their employer funding AWS Certification fees (87%).

Because cloud migrations depend on how well services are integrated across the organization, it’s important all employees build cloud fluency. One way companies do this is with AWS Skills Guild, a custom skills enablement program that builds cloud fluency at scale.

Sainsbury’s is one of the largest chains of supermarkets in the UK and operates more than 1,400 supermarkets and convenience stores. Sainsbury’s made strategic investments to strengthen its in-house technology skills so that it could deliver great customer experiences, online and offline. Sainsbury’s implemented the AWS Skills Guild framework, held 30 AWS Classroom trainings, and hosted 11 informal training events, all of which built cloud fluency for more than 600 colleagues (anyone who works for Sainsbury’s is referred to as a “colleague.”).

3/ Develop workforce agility with always-on access to learning infused in the flow of work.

With the cloud constantly evolving, building cloud skills needs to be continuously infused into the flow of work, meeting learners where they are with what they want to learn, and how they want to learn it. Learners and organizations can take advantage of the following cloud skills resources today:

  • AWS Skill Builder gives learners on-demand access to 600+ free digital courses in up to 20 languages covering 30+ AWS solutions, empowering them to build knowledge and skills at their own pace.
  • AWS Skill Builder subscriptions for teams and individuals unlock new features like gamified and challenge-based learning, access to more than 125 AWS Builder Labs, unlimited practice within the AWS Console, official AWS Certification practice exams and prep courses, and administrative benefits like assigned learning and progress reports to scale learning and inform learning plans with data.
  • AWS Industry Quest: Based on the success of AWS Cloud Quest in helping learners build skills, AWS Industry Quest delivers training for real-world cloud solutions for specific industries with a game-based learning format. We just launched the first Industry Quest for Financial Services as part of the Skill Builder subscriptions, and more are in the works.

Cisco implemented AWS Skill Builder Team subscriptions, gaining training at scale, just-in-time learning, flexibility to deliver learning in an agile hybrid work environment, and career development opportunities from exposing people to a wide variety of learning resources. With AWS Training and Certification, Cisco has certified 1,620 employees and trained thousands of cloud practitioners across the organization. They’ve achieved more robust and mature cloud architectures, and employees are empowered to improve the customer experience using Skill Builder to better support cloud deployments in the field.

4/ Build workforce resilience with a pipeline of new cloud talent.

In addition to upskilling and reskilling your workforce, it’s important to build a pipeline of early career cloud talent to infuse new ideas and diverse thinking into how your company solves problems. Organizations that hire entry-level cloud talent indicated that investing in entry-level talent delivers a positive ROI.

Leaders can connect with early career cloud talent through AWS Education programs like AWS Educate, AWS Academy, and AWS re/Start. Graduates have the latest AWS knowledge and skills and real-world experience, having been trained by the experts at AWS in experiential scenarios. Many have obtained one or more AWS Certifications, which organizations say puts them in a better competitive position to succeed over the next three to five years. They are being trained all around the world so you can fill roles with day one-ready cloud talent.

Take the next step in your cloud investment

No matter where you’re at in your cloud journey – if you’re making a business bet on cloud, it’s time to go all-in on your people’s skills to take you into your future confidently. Learn more about AWS Training and Certification.