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Every time I visit one of our enterprise customers, there is a question that, one way or the other, always comes up: "How can we align our management teams on our cloud strategy?"
As the enterprise world increasingly migrates to the cloud and implements more cloud-based systems, alignment is often a challenge. Last month we published a set of new learning paths and courses dedicated to executives and non-tech professionals. Today, I’d like to share how we did it, and what we learned during this process.
The cloud for executives and non-tech professionals
So, what is the real struggle for executives and non-tech staff when it comes to understanding the cloud? There might be a simple answer if you don’t consider how tricky it can be for a large organization to migrate to cloud computing, adopt Agile or DevOps, and change their culture over the next three to five years.
In reality, it’s difficult, and CIOs and CEOs know that. Change management is probably the most common theme that we hear and talk about.
For us at Cloud Academy, the reality of helping our customers means, first and foremost, giving them content that they can use with their leaders, managers, and coordinators. Oftentimes, this is a challenge because the majority of the training content out there is designed for technical people—developers, system administrators etc.—but not for executives.
Here are some other common challenges that large organizations experience when migrating to the cloud or implementing it:
- A clear understanding of the cloud: Everyone has heard of the cloud, but a few executives can define it, identify its main challenges, or point to the available solutions in the market. It’s understandable: They need training and access to information in a quick way, something they can share with all of their teams.
- It’s not only AWS, Azure, or Google: The cloud is more than the main platforms. It’s also about DevOps, containers, Agile, how to change operations, and how to prepare internal teams for the shift to cloud technologies. It’s not just about selecting a vendor. In fact, this is the first step once they have the right information. Most of our customers wanted a full overview of the general DevOps approach and the culture they need to implement for their companies. Before selecting tools and methodologies, executives and managers need to first understand them in order to plan for how they will impact internal teams and processes.
- Culture change in their development and operations teams: Giving your company new tools will not make you a cloud company. A change in company culture is the most difficult kind of change. It’s about understanding that now your developer will be able to launch an instance for his testing environment, shut it down, and deploy everything in production while making sure that everything he did is compliant with your internal policies. Considering that for the last 10 years, your organization did this in a completely different way (operating in a data center or an on-premise environment), this is a huge shift for a company to absorb.
- Getting 50 executives in a room isn’t easy: Everyone is busy, traveling, or in general, has little time to spare. In creating content for executives and other busy professionals, we knew that we had to build something that they could easily consume in a way that could fit into busy schedules. (Luckily, we have a lot of experience in this department. 🙂 )
Cloud training designed for the enterprise
Our Head of Content, Bessie Weiss, and our leadership team decided to create something that would address the unique needs of our enterprise customers. We focused on creating a set of learning paths and courses designed for executives and non-technical people. This content is both for the people who are driving a cloud strategy or a cloud migration inside the company, and, more generally, for when they need something flexible and scalable to align their peers on the cloud.
To build these learning paths, we worked with SMEs within our Content Team who have experienced these issues first hand. Both Stuart Scott and Andrew Larkin have many years of experience working for large enterprises and helping them migrate to cloud technologies. They were simply the best people on our team to build this content. We also relied on external experts to complement and verify all of our information and training.
Explore our new business content for the cloud
So far, we have built the four learning paths listed below, with more in progress. As part of our development process, each of the learning paths featured below is the result of testing and feedback from actual executive teams from some of our enterprise customers.
Learning path Benefits of Cloud Technology for Business
Cloud migration is a huge step for any business. This learning path will provide everything you need to be able to answer this important question: ‘Should my business move to the cloud?’ It will provide the logical steps and the main points of consideration for migrating to the cloud, as well as your steps for planning a cloud migration strategy. It covers cloud basics, different deployment and service models, key cloud concepts, and some use cases for cloud technology.
Learning path Cloud Computing for Business Professionals
This Cloud Computing for Business Professionals makes sure that you have the context you need to understand how to make key business decisions when it comes to the cloud. We look at how cloud integration affects internal business operations across the organization, contractual obligations, and risks inherent in operating your business in the cloud. Finally, we provide an overview of the major public cloud platforms so you can understand the similarities and differences to choose the platform that is right for you.
Learning path Introduction to the Public Cloud Platforms: AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud
This learning path provides you with an in-depth look at each of the three major players in the public cloud arena: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft’s Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. By looking at the three platforms together, you will be able to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each platform and how they align with your larger goals.
Learning path DevOps Fundamentals: From culture to operations (with real labs included)
The disconnect between development and operations—developers throw code over the proverbial wall, and it’s up to operations to get the code into production and keep it running—ends up wasting time for everyone and doesn’t produce the best quality software possible. This learning path was designed to serve as an introduction to DevOps. It will take you through the concepts around DevOps in a non-vendor-specific way and help you to determine how best to apply these practices to your company. You’ll gain an understanding of exactly what DevOps is and how it works with this collection of courses and labs.
Looking for more content?
Check our upcoming roadmap for new content at Cloud Academy or search in our Content Library to find even more training dedicated to helping executive teams and management navigate cloud technologies.