In our Meet the judges series, we’ll be chatting to some of the cloud tech experts on our judging panel to find out more about their experience, their passion for cloud tech, and what they’re making a beeline for at the awards ceremony buffet…
Nabila Salem is President of Revolent Group and Board Member of Tenth Revolution Group.
Her mission – and passion – is to build new, diverse talent pipelines within cloud technologies that are experiencing skills shortages; all while supporting people from currently underrepresented backgrounds to build an amazing career in tech.
Nabila has over 15 years of leadership experience in professional services, tech recruitment, and marketing, both in the UK and USA.
Nabila plays an active role in encouraging, supporting, and promoting diversity in the workplace and was recognized in Management Today’s 35 Women Under 35 List 2019.
We caught up with Nabila to find out what impact cloud technology has had on her business, which category she’s most looking forward to judging, and what dessert is her favorite.
I’m looking forward to judging all the categories and discovering new and exciting cloud tech solutions. But the closest one to me – both personally and professionally – has to be the Diversity and Inclusion Employer of the Year Award.
Personally, because I’ve been an advocate of equality, diversity and inclusion in tech since the dawn of my career.
Professionally, as President of Revolent, my job is to fuel the cloud ecosystem with the next generation of certified professionals. And it’s really vital to ensure that this generation is made up of truly diverse individuals who can bring a range of perspectives, helping to ensure that tech companies continue to innovate.
Sometimes – and I’ve seen this a lot across my career – it can become a tick-box exercise. But for us at Revolent, it’s really at the heart of everything we do. Our own team members come from 20 different nationalities and over half of our management team are women.
I’m also proud to say that more than two-thirds of our ‘Revols’ – the graduates of our training programs – identify as Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic.
The relationship between the cloud and AI is really fascinating to me.
So, AI powers cloud computing – data insights, workflows, and so forth – and cloud computing increases the impact and scope of AI. They go hand in hand really well and the relationship between them is amazing.
When you combine the two, not only do you have the power of data and insights, but also the ability to perform improvements at speed.
And the AI market is growing massively. Some reports estimate that it will be worth almost $100 billion by 2025. I think businesses need to embrace not just cloud technology or AI – they need to nurture that relationship in order to get the best out of both.
Revolent is all about creating cloud talent. So, in that sense, cloud technology hasn’t impacted our business – it is our business!
The cloud market is growing so fast that there just aren’t enough people to fill the number of jobs required. IDC has predicted that 30% of job roles in emerging technologies will go unfilled by 2022.
At Revolent, our mission is to fill the talent gap by finding, training, placing and developing highly skilled individuals who come from all sorts of backgrounds for cloud ecosystems.
Cloud technology and training people for jobs in the industry are at the heart of everything we do. Without people, as a business, we just can’t scale up at the speed that we have to in order to fulfil the need for jobs in the industry.
The partnership between Amazon Web Services and Salesforce that was announced back in June definitely deserves a huge shoutout.
And I’m not saying this just because Revolent specializes in training talent for the Salesforce and AWS ecosystem. I think it’s absolutely fascinating that these two companies – competitors in essence – have come together and partnered to create a hybrid cloud model.
This will empower their users to make the most of the full set of Salesforce and AWS capabilities. I think this will massively accelerate the digital transformation. I’m sure we’ll be seeing some exciting new business applications in the not-too-distant future.
At the moment, all cloud ecosystems are lacking talent. So, I see multi-cloud partnerships, such as Salesforce and AWS, becoming more prominent and vital. With collaborations like these, we could get to where we need to be much faster.
There’s practically a war for talent in the cloud industry at the moment.
This will only get worse in the coming years if we don’t do something about it. To solve this, more companies will need to re-visit their workforce planning strategies to create more diverse and sustainable talent pipelines.
I think that the biggest opportunity is to be innovative – to identify new ways of finding the talent that cloud organizations need. Long gone are the days when everyone had to be in the same office, working from the same geographical location.
You can look for talent far and wide, as long as you’re willing to widen your net, trust your employees and empower your teams. That, for me, is the biggest opportunity.
The biggest question is how many companies are actually going to embrace that? I was reading just the other day that there are more and more companies going back to the way they used to work before the pandemic, despite praising the benefits of remote working during lockdown.
This is probably tied to human nature more than anything else. But let’s try and overcome old habits because we all need talent. Let’s be creative and innovative in the way we find it.
The workforce has become much more of a global community than ever before – you should be able to find the talent you need as long as you’re willing to adapt and evolve the way you’re used to doing things.
An award or even a nomination adds credibility to a business, especially vital for start-ups.
They motivate the teams involved, giving people within the business who are working really hard the recognition they truly deserve; particularly if they come from backgrounds that haven’t been celebrated historically.
It also puts a spotlight on innovative solutions, aimed at making the tech space more inclusive and diverse, which may spark an idea for someone else.
I don’t know if it’s a secret talent but one of my strengths is definitely resilience and remaining calm under pressure. That’s easier said than done in business when things are about to go wrong…
To give you an idea, I joined Revolent in January 2020. I was very excited about building and growing the business and I brought lots of ideas with me. And then, of course, Covid hit and all my plans went out the window – at least temporarily. I had to pivot my focus to the priorities and change the plan almost completely.
Remaining calm under pressure and weathering the storm was worth it though – as we have now scaled from the UK to the US, Canada and Australia. Being forced to change the plan often leads to creativity and innovation in order to achieve new heights.
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