Cloud migration demands a culture of continuous learning

The pandemic brought with it a frantic rush to migrate to digital solutions and systems. For many organisations, much of this work had been done in the years prior, but the pandemic helped highlight the missteps and overlooked aspects of those journeys.

To be fair, there is no way an organisation can plan for every eventuality, especially not one as drastic and life altering as a pandemic.

Case in point is the University of Witwatersrand (Wits) which migrated its learning management system Sakai to the AWS Cloud. The transfer of the system was straight forward taking just two months to complete. This allowed teaching and learning to continue but the journey wasn’t over.

Moving to a new ecosystem meant that there were new challenges to address and because AWS was new, employees required training. As such, Wits has embarked on a comprehensive training drive for its ICT team and other key stakeholders with a goal to accelerating the university’s cloud adoption.

“If you want to successfully migrate to the cloud, you need to understand if your organisation has cloud knowledge gaps and if so, where they exist. Our collaboration with AWS allowed us to identify these gaps and create a tailored training plan that quickly upskilled a select portion of our staff, arming them with a foundational knowledge of cloud essentials,” explains chief information officer at Wits, Stanley Mpofu.

In order to determine the training needed for its staffers, Wits made use of the AWS Learning Needs Analysis self-assessment tool. Employees were selected by the university and asked to complete the online survey.

After the employees completed the survey, AWS reviewed the results and pinpointed areas of need within the organisation. With the Wits teaching and Learning solutions (such as Sakai, Canvas & Big Blue Button) firmly rooted in the cloud, AWS Training programs enabled the institution to grow, scale, and innovate with increased agility.

Importantly, the Wits CIO highlights that the education sector – and all industries for that matter – needs to recognise that cloud solutions and skills can help innovate in the space. More than that, this can help form the basis of pushing the idea of a digitally led economy.

“When you understand how drastically the landscape has changed, you’ll understand the need for stakeholders and partners who can collaborate and help you amplify the power of technology,” adds Mpofu.

To date, more than 50 essential employees at Wits have joined the training program and are gaining the skills needed to push the institution toward future cloud innovations.

“We recognise that the growth of the AWS Cloud is contingent upon closing the global cloud skills gap. AWS Training and Certification provides a great path for organizations to upskill and reskill existing talent. But learning never stops, which is why it’s so important for organizations and cloud builders to adopt a culture of continuous learning. We are equipping cloud learners with the common language of the cloud and empowering them to innovate and build, which can lead to radical transformation,” head of the education sector at AWS, Linda Siso said.

For more information of AWS Training and Certification head here.


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