Customer Stories / Financial Services

Absa Empowers Employees with Cloud Skills and a Cloud-First Culture


With a presence in 15 countries, Absa Group is one of Africa’s largest diversified financial services groups. Headquartered in South Africa, Absa is a majority shareholder in 11 other banks across Africa and offers integrated products and services to more than 9.7 million customers across personal and business banking, insurance, and wealth and investment management.

Benefits on AWS

  • Launched Cloud Incubator program to build cloud skills across the group
  • Upskilled 4,500+ employees in 18 months
  • Supported 400+ employees in achieving an AWS Certification

“We 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.”

Suren Pillay
Chief Technology Officer, Absa Group

Cloud Skills Drive Innovation

Absa is ambitious about innovating to improve the customer experience. Recognizing cloud technology as a strategic differentiator, the group turned to Amazon Web Services (AWS) to accelerate their digital transformation. Absa adopted the training framework from AWS Skills Guild, a comprehensive, large-scale skills enablement program that builds cloud fluency across organizations. Their internal training program, Cloud Incubator, is an investment in its people and has shifted Absa to a cloud-first mindset, created sustainable enthusiasm for cloud training, and generated immediate business value by reducing costs and production time.

Team of happy diverse people having fun at work after business training or corporate meeting

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New Cloud Skills

Women in AI

Through the Cloud Incubator program, 4,500+ employees received cloud training through 52 informal Skills Guild training events. In addition, 1,900+ employees took instructor-led AWS classroom training. The program also created opportunities for 400+ employees to earn AWS Certifications.

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Speed and Scalability

Women in AI
The website for Absa’s major art competition, “Atelier,” was rebuilt on AWS quicker than was previously possible on-premises, and was then quickly scaled across all of Africa. The site was nominated for a global Webby Award, which honors excellence in digital media.
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Time to Value

Women in AI

Through increased cloud fluency, Absa employees are empowered to experiment and prototype more quickly on AWS. This has accelerated development, decreased time to value, and reduced costs.

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Culture Shift

Women in AI

Through the innovative training provided to all technical and non-technical levels, Absa has strengthened its in-house capabilities and fostered a cloud-first organization-wide culture. Its employees are enthusiastic about learning new cloud skills and continue to evolve the program further. 

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Absa Adopts AWS Skills Guild to Accelerate Digital Transformation

Absa Group is transforming its business with Cloud Incubator, a large-scale cloud upskilling program based on the AWS Skills Guild framework.