Amazon’s Cloud arm preparing India to lead next tech revolution

Washington: Known for dispatching the best software talent across the world for years, India has now embarked upon a Cloud-driven journey to prepare the Next-Gen of skilled workers — data scientists, Artificial Intelligence (AI) mavericks and mobile developers.

The task is humongous and online retail giant Amazon’s Cloud business arm Amazon Web Services (AWS) has now fast-tracked skilling the young — providing them early access to its core Cloud platform that has already transformed millions of enterprises and start-ups globally.

For tens of thousands of students in India, it is a win-win situation.

As they get busy acquiring skills in Cloud computing using the “AWS Educate” programme, they know that once their careers begin, the entry barrier to innovate will not be that tough as they will not have to worry about setting up huge IT infrastructure and lose sleep over frequent server crashes and data privacy issues.

“For us, every individual is the source of innovation and AWS Cloud platform gives an individual complete access to technology that has transformed major enterprises. Even a small innovation that will come from Cloud-driven skilled workforce will be a significant one to make the world a better place to live,” Vincent Quah, Regional Head of Education, Research and Non-profits for APAC at AWS, told IANS.

India today has a fertile start-up landscape that needs constant supply of data scientists. According to a new NITI Aayog “National Strategy for AI” report, India is going to face a demand-supply gap of 200,000 data analytics professionals by 2020.

“Students need to be Cloud-oriented especially at a time when governments and enterprises are digitally transforming their businesses and start-ups are being born in the Cloud,” Quah noted.

The beauty of “AWS Educate” is that students, while receiving hands-on training and access to content prepared by some of the top computer science institutions from across the world, also get free Cloud credits into their accounts.

“Free Cloud credits help students innovate via the same AWS platform which all AWS customers have access to — giving them exposure to core services like compute, storage, databases, networking, analytics, AI, Machine Learning (ML), Internet of Things (IoT), mobile development and what not,” Quah explained on the sidelines of the AWS public sector summit here.

“AWS Educate” has nearly 30 career pathways to choose from which essentially belong to four big job families — Big data and analytics, Cloud architect, system/engineering support and software/web development.

Each pathway has close to between 30-50 hours of content. Students get regular knowledge check, undertake mini projects and after completing the programme, receive proper certification and digital badges.

The “AWS Educate” programme also provides young learners (aged 14-17) at schools with introductory Cloud literacy content.

According to a recent report from FICCI-Nasscom and EY, 9 per cent of the country’s 600 million estimated workforce would be deployed in new jobs by 2022 and 37 per cent would be in jobs that have completely changed skill sets.

“India is looking for talent in Cloud-enabled disruptive technologies and AWS career pathways can help create that talent pool. Cloud computing is one key skill gap that we want to address in order to tackle the demand-supply scenario,” the AWS executive stressed.

In India, AWS is listed as Amazon Internet Services Pvt Ltd (AISPL) which undertakes the resale and marketing of AWS Cloud services in the country.

The Cloud training wave has even reached the holy town of Varanasi.

Earlier this week, the Indian Institute of Technology-Banaras Hindu University (IIT-BHU) and AISPL signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to help students develop Cloud-ready job skills by providing them access to “AWS Educate”.

They also announced to establish a Cloud Research Lab to provide students with opportunities to use AWS Cloud technology to pursue research initiatives that focus on AI and ML innovation.

ASM Group of Institutes in Pune has gone one step further, inviting non-IT and engineering students to come and learn Cloud computing with “AWS Educate”.

Other early birds in Cloud training are Andhra Pradesh State Skills Development Corporation (APSSDC), Common Service Centres (CSCs) of Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), International Institute of Information Technology, Bengaluru, and several IITs.

Globally, over 1,500 institutions have joined “AWS Educate” to accelerate their journey towards helping the young generation acquire Cloud skills.

“Having early Cloud training will help kids innovative more and, eventually, become entrepreneur and become job providers for New-Age skills,” Quah told IANS.