Taking a look at the way cloud computing and storage is moving there is a need to point out the skills technical and non-technical personnel should master and be a pro at it.

Global infrastructure: AWS has extensive resources around the world. Its infrastructure is divided into 22 regions, which are then supported by many smaller data center availability zones and edge locations. Amazon created this layered architecture to ensure customers have high availability and reliable performance. For instance, if the server powering a company’s website goes down in Availability Zone A, the nearby Availability Zone B can take over website deployment since it was designed as an independent failure zone that is another part of skills.

The logistics of the AWS physical infrastructure are important for organization-wide stakeholders to understand the skills. Any downtime can have significant ramifications across business units, especially when it comes to customer satisfaction.

Security in the cloud: Ensuring the security of customer data is a necessary piece of any company’s digital transformation strategy. This is why it’s imperative for even non-technical staff to understand the best practices of data and infrastructure security in the cloud.

While the exam covers a high-level review of key AWS security services, it’s particularly important for the non-technical employee to learn the AWS Shared Responsibility Model. This outlines the cloud security components Amazon is responsible for (e.g. properly building secure components) versus what the customer is responsible for (e.g. properly configuring networks and data encryption).

Pricing model: The 160+ services of AWS can be finely calibrated to make the most of a company’s budget and technical needs, but that requires a high-level understanding of the AWS pricing structure. Of course, financial roles may be the most interested in how AWS structures its pricing, but it’s also an important topic for project managers, executives, and technical team leads. 

Non-technical roles will want to understand how AWS constructs its pricing based on the use of compute, storage, and outbound data transfer services. The costs of these services are then broken down into “instances” based on how often they’re used. Examples of these instances include:

  • On-demand instances with no contract required and charges accrued based only the seconds used of the service.
  • Scheduled instances can be purchased on a recurring schedule such as daily, weekly, or monthly for a one-year timeframe. 
  • Spot instances let users save up to 90% in typical compute costs by requesting the use of unused compute instances within the AWS cloud system.
  • Dedicated instances run a virtual private cloud on hardware dedicated to a single customer. This is an expensive option that most companies will shy away from.
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