Cloud skills training: How businesses can stay ahead of the curve

SADA Says | Cloud Computing Blog

By Miles Ward | SADA CTO

Reprinted with permission from Training Industry.

The cloud is revolutionizing the way we work, but it’s not just about technology. It’s about the people behind the technology. It’s critical for workers to be agile and adaptable in their day-to-day jobs. As cloud technologies continue to evolve, it’s essential that your team stays up to date through ongoing training and skills development.

In today’s rapidly changing world, the skills gap is a major challenge facing businesses everywhere. In fact, by 2025, one-half of the world’s workforce will need reskilling to keep up with the demand for technology proficiency.

Why cloud skills training is needed

The argument for cloud skills training is pretty simple: With strong, robust skills training in place, cloud practitioners will become much more adept at managing and leveraging these technologies. Skills training also allows businesses to innovate with more speed and drive effective transformation strategies across the entire organization. Just as the cloud allows businesses to stay agile and move quickly, skills training allows workers to adapt to the environments around them.

Deploying cloud skills training at scale is easier than ever before, thanks in large part to the growing amount of affordable, efficient upskilling courses that businesses can leverage. With the right tools and practices at their disposal, businesses can effectively implement cloud skills training at scale.

Make it equitable

Make it equitable

Skills training is table stakes to the success of any cloud practitioner today. It’s extremely important that opportunities for upskilling or reskilling are equitable and easily accessible for all. Obtaining the skills needed to succeed in daily work should not be a stressful process for employees, and they should be empowered to seek out courses that help them learn and grow in the long term. In fact, diversity, equity and inclusion are at the core of any equitable skills training program, as they open up opportunities for workers of all backgrounds to pave personalized, specified career plans.

Businesses should make these courses as accessible as possible for their learners. For example, offering yearly professional development stipends for external training courses will help push learners to seek career development options. Alternatively, businesses could implement internal training protocols as a value-add for any employee and make skills training a core part of their operations moving forward.

A great example of equitable, well-developed skills training comes from Google, which offers a variety of development options to open up opportunities for learners. Its Cloud Innovators program offers free and low-cost subscription tiers, connects people to Google engineers and provides access to lab trainings that help users grow their skill sets. Google’s Skills Boost program also offers hands-on learning experiences to help upskill workers, while other options include experiential learning via Cloud Hero, which gamifies cloud skills development through timed challenges, and Google Clout, a 20-minute weekly exercise that allows users to collect exclusive badges upon completion of each week’s challenges. Another great example of interactive, hands-on skills training comes from Pluralsight, which gives users opportunities for hands-on skills assessments and trainings.

Add a personal touch

Personalizing skills training courses to fit individual needs is another crucial component of implementing these programs at scale. In this case, personalization can mean a few different things, whether they are specific to your business or catered to the learner specifically.

For businesses, personalizing programs can ensure that each worker has the competencies necessary to work within the parameters of your organization. Each company’s cloud stack has its nuances, and building training programs that fit the exact needs of your business will help drive efficiency within the workforce.

For learners, personalized training will help them brush up on specific skills that they’re currently struggling with or want to become more proficient at. Learners may desire training for several reasons: one, to be proficient in their current work, and two, to build the necessary knowledge base to grow their professional career and achieve their desired outcome. Personalized training also provides workers with greater flexibility, allowing them to complete courses when it’s most appropriate for them, rather than feeling pressure to complete courses without fully diving in. Custom training at both the business and personal level will help grow these training programs, as executives will have a better understanding of what trainings should be implemented, and who should learn specific skills.

Engage the right partners

Engage the right partners

As skills training has become more popular, the number of organizations that can help with reskilling and upskilling, such as boot camps and professional development groups has grown. These come in different forms, including basic courses like Google’s Developer Skills course, or more advanced and refined ones in microservices such as Skillsoft’s Docker. Organizations dedicated to administering these types of development courses will be key resources for executives.

Additionally, some organizations offer customized, tailored skills training for companies that have defined skills development needs, such as multi-cloud management or security trainings. Building partnerships with dedicated skills development platforms can help businesses scale their own training programs more rapidly and provide instant value to their workers. For employees upskilling on their own, businesses can support them through stipends or other financial benefits that allow them to find cost-effective ways to grow their skills.

The bottom line is this: while skills gaps exist for many businesses today, there are countless sources of upskilling and reskilling tools that businesses can use to close these gaps and identify areas of need for their workers. With a focus on inclusion, personalization and scalability, any business can effectively roll out skills training programs for their employees quicker and more cost effectively than ever before.


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