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US Bank is deploying internal volunteers to help train its 7,000 tech employees in cloud skills, in a very “fintech-y” bid to shift its enterprise mindset.  

As US Bank moves its apps to Microsoft’s cloud, it’s dedicated to upskilling all its tech workers through a cost-effective training strategy that takes advantage of grassroots enthusiasm and talent.  

US Bank has tapped a small group of internal advocates to spread the gospel of the cloud among their coworkers.  

The bank, which committed $600 million to moving 1,300 apps to Microsoft’s Azure cloud, wants all its 7,000 technology employees to get cloud-certified over the next two years, and, to get there, it’s given support to several dozen volunteer coaches to train their peers, according to a feature in American Banker.  

Over six months last year, 30 volunteers guided 1,200 people to complete a certification. Each cohort spent 70 to 80 work hours over six weeks with a blend of employee coaching and Microsoft-provided classes. It intends to continue this strategy to train its entire team.  

US Bank’s approach is “very fintech-y,” according to PwC banking lead Peter Pollini: “Teams collaborating together and saying, ‘Hey, there’s a problem. Let’s now shift as a team and figure out how we can solve that problem together.’ That’s not the way that you would necessarily think of a bank upskilling their talent in the past.” 

As US Bank makes the transition to the cloud, it needs its existing workers to be knowledgeable and well-equipped for its new reality. And it aims for the process – dubbed Certfest – to feel “inspiring,” according to US Bank head of enterprise architecture Madhu Rao: “We have created an ecosystem where we are shopping within our closet to look for people that are already experts, and then we are providing them the opportunity to go and impact people.”