Cloud Academy, training becomes enterprise

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For large companies, generic training is not enough, we need a platform that knows how to link the development of skills with business objectives. And with measurable results.

IT technologies are constantly evolving,so for those who work in Information Technology it has become practically essential to keep up to date. This also means following training courses that allow you to acquire the necessary skills at any given moment of your career. It seems a problem solved at the start, given that the training offer in the technological field has perhaps never been so vast and at hand. On the one hand, the vendors that offer new technologies also offer related training,on the other hand, the independent companies – large or small, local or international – that offer technological training courses are almost countless.

All right, then? Actually, no, from the point of view of businesses. The fact that there is a great generalizedtraining offer, also easily usable online and in self-learning mode, is useful up to a certain point. The needs of companies are more structured: they can need training on a specific topic to acquire a particular skill that serves for a specific project, as well as build complete upskilling paths for part of the staff. In any case, any type of training must be linked to the needs of the company and it must always be possible to assess where you are with respect to the objective of developing skills that you have set. Training, in essence, cannot be left to the goodwill and personal commitment of the individual employee, however motivated he may be. Cloud Academy was born keeping in mind right away how large companies consider employee training: as, after all, a resource whose “consumption” and concrete results must be measurable.

“Overthe years we have built a platform that allows companies to follow the entire life cycle of employees’ technical skills,”explains Stefano Bellasio,CEO of Cloud Academy. A line of strategic development that almost automatically defines the reference market: large companies,which are – at least for now – those in which the themes of training, upskilling and reskilling are most felt. And they are also the ones where the propensity for internal development of software and digital services is now growing the most, which increases the need to acquire new skills and keep them up to date.

Guided and tailor-made training

Cloud Academy’s approach is specific to the needs described and is probably the main differentiator with other training platforms. Every company has specific needs in terms of digital skills, so the Cloud Academy staff first performs an assessment of the skills that a specific company, with respect to its objectives, already possesses and those that are missing. Starting from this initial assessment, a series of training courses is defined – a real training plan – which aims to first fill the most important skills gaps and then to complete the entire panorama of the skills sought. The Cloud Academy platform is not only used to deliver training content but also offers the tools for the management of the client company to evaluate the progress of the training plan,through dashboards, analytics, reports.

The basic idea is that training is a continuous path even in companies: first of all you need to know where you are, compared to where you want to arrive. The client companies are then supported by a support team that follows their evolution and needs. The training offer of Cloud Academy is regularly updated in the contents that concern the three currently fundamental fields for companies: cloud world,software development, data management and analytics in general.

“Contentupdates are frequent – explains Stefano Bellasio – and follow the main market trends, but we also receive the specific requests of large customers”.

Content personalization is an important element in general for Cloud Academy. User companies can customize their own directly, in self-service mode. But above all it is possible to structure the technical laboratories to measure, that is, the practical sessions in a simulated environment in which it is evaluated whether a person has actually matured the skills that were sought. These environments can be built to replicate exactly the company’s IT environment to ensure that evaluation testing is more effective. In parallel, it can be defined in platform that a certain business “role” (for example cloud-native application developer) must include a well-defined set of skills.

This is not only to concretely follow the learning of the individual but also to avoid confusion about what should or should not know who holds a certain position in the IT staff. Since the “standard” definitions of job roles are certainly not homogeneous,in the platform the client company makes explicit its own.

A question of culture

It seems obvious that such a guided model as the one described is not meant for the “independent” training of the individual developer. The goal remains the large companies, which in fact find in Cloud Academy, underlines Stefano Bellasio,”a sort of project management that helps them in the management of talents and various career paths”. A help that seems definitely necessary, for how many companies historically approach training and for how it is now considered by employees.

On the one hand, it almost lacks a base from which to start. “Manycompanies are so distributed and growing globally – explains Bellasio – that they cannot give a precise snapshot of the skills that employees already have and what they would need, according to the needs of the company itself. And without a precise strategy, training cannot deliver tangible results on a large scale.” On the other hand, a company’s commitment to the continuous training of staff is practically taken for granted by employees, especially the youngest.

“Newemployees expect the company to invest to make them work with advanced tools and skills – highlights Bellasio – but in companies there is not always a culture of making people grow internally. It is often thought that the management of a training path should be up to the employee,which in fact leads to little use of training platforms: there is no concrete initial goal and there is no alignment with management”.