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Absa and AWS launch cloud skills incubator

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Absa Group has launched a cloud incubator initiative in collaboration with global cloud services provider Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Absa says it is promoting “cloud fluency” as part of a broader effort to promote learning, experimentation and innovation across the organisation, with the goal of enhancing the banking experience of its customers.

By migrating to the cloud, companies can eliminate the expense of building and managing on-site data centres, while gaining the ability to reduce infrastructure costs and scale up and down rather than paying for excess on-premises capacity.

“Cloud is rapidly becoming the norm for large companies, a trend that was accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic, which prompted a step-change in digital solutions,” says Andrew Baker, Absa Group chief technology officer. “Using cloud allows us to store much more data cost-efficiently, compared with physical data centres. Cloud has already improved our ability to manage and access data and will enable us to bring products to market faster.”

World Wide Worx’s “Cloud in Africa 2020” report reveals that 84% of African organisations surveyed viewed cloud computing as cost-effective. Cloud investment is expected to increase significantly this year, with 56% of respondents estimating that a quarter of applications will have moved to the cloud by the end 2021, according to the report.

To support its cloud transformation, Absa has launched an internal cloud incubator programme to participate in AWS’s Skills Guild initiative, a comprehensive cloud skills training programme designed to help large enterprise organisations accelerate their cloud adoption journey and build cloud fluency for their employees. The cloud incubator initiative will equip more than 1,500 staff across Absa’s African operations with advanced cloud computing skills this year.

Says Chris Erasmus, commercial sector leader for AWS in South Africa, “The AWS Skills Guild offers enterprises a comprehensive approach to organization-wide cloud enablement, and is designed to not only impart cloud skills, but create excitement, momentum, and accelerate paths to innovation. AWS Skills Guild is based on our experience building enterprise-wide skills transformation plans for our customers across the globe, including National Australia Bank, Deloitte, Kmart Group, and many more.”

A key outcome for Absa’s internal cloud incubator participants is that they will be able to identify cloud opportunities within their businesses, and create more efficient, scalable services and solutions. Employees will have the confidence to innovate faster and experiment more to drive broadscale digital transformation across the business.

“Accelerating cloud adoption will have a significant impact on Absa’s ability to innovate, offer new value propositions, and play a meaningful role in our customers’ and clients’ experiences,” says Baker.

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