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Absa partners AWS to launch cloud skills incubator

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Absa CTO Andy Baker.
Absa CTO Andy Baker.

Absa Group has launched a cloud incubator initiative in collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to enhance its cloud computing skills across its operations in Africa.

In a statement, the big-four bank says as one of the largest cloud adopters in Africa, Absa is promoting cloud fluency as part of its broader efforts to promote learning, experimentation and innovation across the organisation to enhance the banking experience for 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, says Absa.

“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.”

Absa notes 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 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, the bank says.

“The AWS Skills Guild offers enterprises a comprehensive approach to organisation-wide cloud enablement, and is designed to not only impart cloud skills, but create excitement, momentum and accelerate paths to innovation,” says Chris Erasmus, commercial sector leader for AWS in SA.

“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.”

“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,” Baker concludes.

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