Article: Why upskilling is essential to future-proof your business


Why upskilling is essential to future-proof your business

The new business landscape requires skills in cloud computing, user experience data science, connectivity and a vast amount of other technical capabilities.
Why upskilling is essential to future-proof your business

The year 2022 will be remembered as a very challenging year due to Covid-19, climate catastrophes, and global macroeconomic uncertainties. At the same time, the industry has witnessed the evolution of technology, innovation, and the growth of cloud computing across Asia Pacific (APAC), and they are not slowing down any time soon. More and more organisations see how the cloud can accelerate their operations, competitive agility, and ability to innovate. 

Organisations adopting the cloud must see huge benefits from investing in their people. While operating plans for 2023 are being tightly evaluated in light of current macroeconomic pressures, those who invest in their people—especially in these times—will find cherished return worth their investment. A recent study from Forrester Research found that organisations that train their people in cloud skills achieve a 100% return on their investment (ROI) within six months, and 234% ROI over three years. With the arrival of 2023, we’re seeing some strong signals of how cloud skills training can benefit any organisation in APJ irrespective of size. Below are a few top trends for the year ahead that businesses should keep in mind.

IT investments and the skills you’ll need

If your organisation has already made the move to the cloud or you’re thinking about it, you may be experiencing the effects of the shortage of talent with advanced cloud skills. Cloud computing roles are some of the most challenging-to-fill positions. So, if you are looking for cloud talent, the best strategy is to focus on building the skills of your current workforce. According to Skillsoft’s IT Skills and Salary Survey 2022, cloud computing tops the list of investments, followed by cybersecurity/information security, AI/ML, Infrastructure and Systems, Data Analytics/Data Management, and Data Science. It makes sense that these mirror the staff training that decision-makers are prioritising: security, data analytics, developer tools, and DevOps. Your organisation’s technology investments likely look similar for 2023. If so, take a closer look at your current staff’s skill set across these areas and ensure you have a training plan to meet your goals. 

Retain advanced cloud talent by investing in training and certification opportunities

If training isn’t already in your operating plan for 2023, ask yourself if you can afford it not to be given the global skills shortage. Alongside heightened competition for skilled workers, global consultancy Korn Ferry estimates that the global talent shortage could result in nearly  US$8.5 trillion in unrealised annual revenue by 2030—equivalent to the combined GDP of Germany and Japan. Within AWS Skill Builder, among other training resources, there are many options to help you offer robust continued development opportunities and upskill your workforce at scale. The alternative could be a longer waiting period to fill open positions, delays in delivering innovations, and operational inefficiencies. Make it your organisation’s goal to invest in your top asset: your people. 

Lean into early career talent to future-proof your organisation

We know it’s not as easy as snapping your fingers to close your skills gaps, but doing so could be a means to relieve your staff’s workload burden. Consider hiring early career talent because these individuals often come armed with basic cloud skills, plus industry certifications, and are ready to take on technical support, troubleshooting, QA, testing, and remediation work. Starting new hires out with these types of tasks helps them gain mastery of the overall tech stack, sets them up to progress in their careers, and before long, they are ready to take on more complex and challenging work over time. 

Employees and leaders alike value integrated learning solutions 

Hopefully, now you’re looking at your operating budget for 2023 and carving out resources to train your staff. But where should you invest? Look no further than virtual instructor-led training (VILT). Before 2020, the majority of live training was delivered in person. But as the world of work changed, so too has the delivery of virtual training, with sophisticated approaches heightening the learning experience absent a physical classroom environment. Learners and decision-makers alike agree that the VILT format is extremely effective, increases knowledge retention, and is more budget-friendly, eliminating travel costs. Given this, we anticipate that VILT will increase in availability and consumption in the next 12-24 months, significantly reducing barriers to access and enabling individuals to upskill at their convenience and from the safety of their homes. 

Certifications continue to add value to the organisation 

Industry certifications help you distinguish high-caliber talent, and in 2023, we’ll see more organisations invest in building their bench strength by investing in certifying their staff. 72% of IT decision-makers estimate a certified employee brings an additional US$10,000 or more in additional value compared to non-certified employees, according to SkillsSoft’s IT survey. Whether your organisation plans to, or already invests in helping your employees get certified—and favorably regards candidates who hold industry certifications in your hiring process—you’ll see a boost to your productivity and employee retention.

Training non-tech employees

With the growth of the cloud no longer isolated to the IT department, leaders are increasingly building cloud skills across their organisation, from finance to sales, human resources, marketing, and even administrative staff. Vietnam’s Techcombank, for example, invested in strengthening its employees’ cloud knowledge and skills by leveraging the AWS Skills Guild training programme. With high customer demand for digital products, convenience, and security, the bank is focused on fostering a culture of innovation and is building a workforce that can drive its digital and cloud transformation ambitions. So, in 2023, we’ll expect to see more companies like Techcombank make cloud training available (or required) for non-technical employees, such as individuals in finance, sales, marketing, human resources, and administrative staff, including executives.

Take the next step

No matter where you are at in your cloud journey – if you’re making a business bet on the cloud, this is your year to go all-in on your people’s skills to set your organisation up for future success. 

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Topics: Skilling, #TheGreatTalentWar

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