Keeping the culture through change

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ANS is transitioning for the fourth time in 10 years, but as the years go by the time between transitions shortens and the speed in which we need to adapt is much faster.

As you can imagine there are a huge number of considerations when dealing with transitions in markets and businesses, not least that of “how do we deal with the new skills we need?”.  This is without doubt one of the toughest challenges any organisation must deal with as they grow and evolve and ANS is no different. Except we are.

ANS is currently in the midst of the biggest operational shift in our history. Having built our heritage in Managed Services and Converged Infrastructure, we’re now strengthening our portfolio by establishing our dominance in the cloud. Over the last 12-18 months, we’ve been awarded the Microsoft Gold Cloud Competency certification and the AWS Advanced Partner status to cement our position as the UK’s #1 Cloud Service Provider.

As with any huge operational shift, we were bound to encounter a number of challenges. As you can probably imagine, this is a massive cultural change for every team across the business. We’ve had to modify our sales pitches, re-write our messaging, get our heads around new billing techniques and on-board new partners and suppliers. Inevitably, we’ve had to hire a couple of new people, but we haven’t just made a beeline for a recruitment agency to advertise vacancies for DevOps and Platform engineers, Java Developers and Platform Architects; largely because we know these vacancies would take months to fill and quite frankly, we need to move much faster than that to keep up with market demand.

So maybe the answer isn’t to recruit at all, maybe it’s about investing in the time to retrain the amazing people we’ve already got and that’s exactly what we’re doing.

Over the last few months our techies have learnt to build and operate new systems and environments, they’ve been educated on how to architect cloud environments and they’ve become experts in Microsoft Azure and AWS and are now confidently migrating applications to cloud, analysing existing cloud environments to identify cost savings and efficiency gains and providing world-class managed cloud services for global customers.

But crucially, what this approach fails to address is how we create the next generation of tech talent. If we just focus on retaining the talent we’ve already got then what would happen 30 years from now when all these people retire? Well, we’ve thought about this too.

To help minimise the digital skills gap, we’ve continued to grow and develop our Cloud Academy. All of our apprentices will now receive cloud vendor training with AWS and Microsoft Azure and after successful completion of the course, we hope our apprentices will go on to become valuable members of the team, with many having already gone on to become team leaders and managers. By nurturing the tech talent of tomorrow, we hope to not only positively contribute to the UK’s tech industry but we’re also hoping to inspire other leading tech companies to do the same.

So, this is why we are different.  We recruit and train exceptional people that embrace massive change as something invigorating and enjoyable and that makes our transitions successful, no matter how frequent or expeditious they may need to be.