Since committing to a cloud skills program in 2018 National Australia Bank says it has trained 7,000 staff in the technology, including 1,300 to a certification level, marking a stark turnaround for the bank that just a few years ago outsourced almost all its cloud skills.

NAB formed a “Cloud Guild” in 2018 and put on record its ambition to move at least 35 per cent of its IT workloads to a public cloud within two years. The major bank has since doubled down on the technology describing its IT strategy as cloud first and with an ultimate goal of being “100 per cent” in the cloud.

Prior to the guild, the bank had “no technical staff” to run its public cloud infrastructure after years of outsourcing, and was relying largely on managed services from the major vendors.

In an update from NAB’s preferred cloud partner AWS, the bank said it had now put more than 7,000 staff through its Cloud Guild with more than 1,300 employees becoming AWS Certified.

The certified staff allowed NAB to migrate and continuously update its business banking platform, NAB Connect, on the AWS cloud. The migration improved the platforms security, scalability and reliability, according to NAB.

“We’ve accelerated our cloud adoption and business transformation by identifying thousands of workloads to migrate to AWS,” said Matt Cobby, the NAB Cloud Guild leader in an AWS blog post today.

“By supporting AWS Certification, we’ve enabled our employees to be more engaged, more productive, and more innovative. Our systems have better availability, which ultimately benefits our customers.”

COVID-19 impacted the till then face to face training, forcing the Cloud Guild into a virtual setting. But Cobby said the change actually allowed more staff to be trained.

“We found virtual training delivery enabled us to reach more employees. 

“We were no longer constrained by the size of a room or location of a learner. As a result of this virtual shift, we trained over 1,000 people on AWS in 2020.”

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