Upgrading skills to meet the needs of the cloud [Case Study]

How flexible training prepared 2,000 IT professionals to deploy and operate advanced cloud technologies

The situation

A leading financial services company wanted to provide services, data and applications quicker to its retail banking customers and realize cost savings by moving part of its business to a public cloud. By moving to the cloud, the company hoped to simplify its IT infrastructure, create cloud native applications and improve its compliance posture. The company was already running some of its business in an enterprise-class PaaS but wanted to move to a Kubernetes-based PaaS to simplify the development and deployment of applications, scale underlying infrastructure resources to manage peaks in usage and save costs.

Over the previous four years, ExitCertified had delivered a variety of courses to hundreds of IT employees across the U.S. and Asia to help IT teams work in the company’s private cloud and work with big data. To successfully move to the public cloud and begin working with a new PaaS in its private cloud, the company needed new skills. Thousands of developers, managers and administrators needed to develop expertise in cloud and microservices. The bank contacted ExitCertified to help develop and deliver a training program.

Quick Facts

Industry information

  • Retail banking

Firmographic information

  • Global financial services company

Wanted

  • Training relevant and adjacent to two major transitions
  • Completion of training in an expedited timeframe

Services provided

  • SME consultation
  • Training for hundreds of bank personnel
  • Standard virtual courses where appropriate
  • Customized private training where needed

Outcomes achieved

  • Easily administered training across multiple courses
  • New assignments being planned with the customer

The solution

An ExitCertified subject matter expert (SME) held meetings with the bank’s IT stakeholders across the organization to help understand their short- and long-term goals. The SME also worked with the bank to create surveys, which were sent to IT members to understand their job roles, identify skill gaps and create a training roadmap suitable for each of the 2,000 IT professionals that would need training.

The SME also worked with IT directors to understand any other key goals. One of which was to increase artificial intelligence (AI) skills so the bank could make better use of data to improve the products it offered to customers and improve forecasting capabilities and market analysis. The directors also wanted to reduce risk in areas like fraud and loss. After taking a few days to analyze the company’s needs, the SME returned with a course roadmap.

To meet the company's goals, the IT department would switch from using its existing application platform in its private cloud to Red Hat OpenShift, a Kubernetes-based solution. To complement the move to OpenShift, ExitCertified delivered training in Docker and Kubernetes, API development and management, Kafka and DevOps. ExitCertified also delivered training in AI so the bank could better analyze customer data, build new products and thwart cybersecurity threats. The AI training consisted of courses in Python, data science, machine learning and Spark. Additionally, the bank wanted to get a better understanding of both Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud, so ExitCertified delivered a variety of courses in both cloud platforms.

The training roadmap included courses that were customized specifically for the bank to optimize employees’ time spent in the classroom and the client’s budget. Over 2 ½ years, most of the courses were taught live remotely, but when needed, some were taught in person at the client’s facility.

In retail banking, the public’s confidence is everything. We designed a training program that helped our customer’s team execute flawlessly.

The outcome

The bank is now using containers, DevOps practices and APIs to quickly deploy cloud native applications with a hybrid cloud strategy. Automation is built into the applications, and the company manages and provisions infrastructure through code instead of manually. IT employees are working together rather than in silos, speeding the time to develop and test new applications.

Workloads are spread throughout the company’s private cloud and the public cloud. Applications are created in a fraction of the time they used to be. If there’s a problem with an application, another instance of the app automatically takes over so there’s always a high-quality user experience and applications rarely go offline.

Due to it training in AI, the bank has been able to improve its ability to analyze large amounts of data, improve its security posture and optimize IT operations. The bank is also better aware of its customers’ behavior and is making more informed decisions around loans, risk, forecasting and loss prevention.

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