AWS Launches ‘Critical’ New Cloud Operations Competency

The $85 billion cloud giant launched a new AWS Cloud Operations Competency for channel partners today. CRN breaks down what partners need to know.


Amazon Web Services is pushing partners to drive cloud cost efficiency and ROI for customers with the launch of its new AWS Cloud Operations Competency that provides skills, marketing resources and financial incentives to channel partners who achieve the competency.

One of the first partners selected to launch the new cloud operations competency is AWS all-star 2nd Watch who believes it’s “critical” in 2023 to help customers optimize cloud costs and operations.

“I’d say it’s critical for customers today,” said Mary Fellows, director of cloud economics for Seattle-based 2nd Watch. “Experienced FinOps professionals can help a company sort through the complexity of cloud billing data to deliver focused insights and tailored savings strategies.”

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Cloud overspending and cloud computing ROI is top of mind for businesses of all shapes and sizes this year as many organizations migrated workloads to the cloud over the past few years, spurred on by the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, a recent survey conducted by Flexera on 750 organizations showed that business leaders’ No. 1 cloud challenge in 2023 is managing spending—overtaking cloud security for the first time in a decade.

AWS—the $85-billion, Seattle-based worldwide cloud market share leader—is striving to help partners solve customers’ concerns over cloud costs and cloud optimization with its new Cloud Operations Competency.

AWS Cloud Competency Details

“AWS Cloud Operations Competency Partners support customers across the five solution areas of cloud operations, which represent a set of essential technical capabilities that help customers set up, build, migrate, and operate securely and efficiently with an integrated approach to cloud operations,” said AWS in a blog post on Thursday.

The five areas AWS trains and tests partners on include financial management to optimized cost for services, tooling, and resources to organize and track cost and usage; as well as cloud governance in helping clients plan, build and manage hybrid cloud environments that are secure, scalable and cost-efficient.

The three other areas include compliance and auditing; monitoring and observability across the technology stack; and operations management to help partners plan and build centralized operations management and workloads on AWS and beyond.

Partner Benefits

Partners who achieve AWS competencies gain early access to new product roadmaps and get more ways to engage with AWS experts and earn financial incentives.

Additionally, Cloud Operations Competency Partners receive access to cloud operations-specific technical enablement events held around the world, go-to-market and marketing roadmap support, and access to sessions for relevant AWS services.

A 2022 study by IT research firm Forrester conducted over a three-year period found that organizations attain a 241 percent ROI with cost savings of $3.4 million with an optimized cloud environment by enabling rapid time-to-market, promoting high developer productivity, and setting up resilient and secure cloud environments.

2nd Watch’s Fellows said her company takes a holistic approach to cloud economics and follows FinOps principles that ensure cloud environments run as efficiently as possible. 2nd Watch’s experienced data scientists and architects use a proprietary innovation scoring system to help customers identify opportunities for optimization and modernization in a data-driven way.

“Being selected as a launch partner on the Cloud Operations Services Competency demonstrates the confidence AWS has in our ability to help organizations make data-driven spending decisions that deliver maximum business value,” she said.

Other partners who have achieved the competency include Accenture, Cloudreach, Cognizant, HCLTech, Slalom and Triumph Tech.