Build strong cloud skills for employees in 5 stages

Organizations are changing, sometimes driven by innovation, and trying to establish partnerships that will boost their value proposition and optimize internal IT. Over the years, I have been thrilled with how much can be done with the strong will to adopt new technology.

Think of the first new clearing bank in the UK in 250 years – it runs exclusively in the cloud.

Two illustrations showing employees

Think of Insurtech such as Shift Technology that helps insurance companies detect fraud more effectively. The diversity of business models enabling cloud solutions is limited only by imagination.

The first step towards bringing reality into the imagination is ensuring that an organization has the relevant cloud capabilities. While technologies such as AI can provide a direct benefit to the customer, each organization first needs to install strong fundamental cloud capabilities. Only then can they build advanced, customer-centric solutions at the top.

Achieving this requires skill in technologies such as platform-as-a-service, infrastructure in code, and API integration.

Learning new skills and engaging in meaningful training on an ongoing basis is critical to helping people across the organization. Cloud enabled organizations are aware of this. They realize the need for a robust process that allows them to work with strong IT fundamentals.

1. Assess current capacity levels

If an organization implements a capability assessment framework, they can be inspected to evaluate current skill levels. If this is not the case, an organization should establish a framework for continuous monitoring of relevant skill levels.

It can be as simple as creating a heat map, as long as it provides a clear view that can be updated. The proposed methodology for collecting information is for both groups and individuals online surveys and interviews.

2. Determine desired skills and knowledge

In alignment with the overall business strategy, evaluate who needs your skills and, based on the capability framework, identify where the gaps are.

When it comes to setting up cloud fundamentals, most customers…

Architecture: Networking, Virtualization, Identification, Security, Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery, Data Management, Budgeting, and Administration

3. Invest in upskilling and training your teams

Everyone in the IT team has a solid need to understand what the cloud is, which are the most specific scenarios, and where its value lies. We see the highest success when conducting Microsoft-led workshops where IT professionals and relevant business divisions join to learn the basics of cloud administration, architecture, and security.

During these one or two-day workshops, significant results…

The entire IT team has the same understanding of Cloud Fundamental
Strong connection between IT and Business
Once the basics are covered, collaborate with Microsoft to design learning avenues in areas such as data engineering, containerization, and DevOps. These types of training sessions should be tailored to specific groups of employees so that they become relevant and actionable.

4. Reward employees who invest in learning

Learning rewards seems self-explanatory, but having appropriate rewards is not as easy as it may seem.

Rewards in IT departments are highly meaningless and demonetized. As author Daniel Pink notes in Best-Seller Drive, studies show that the rewarding system led by carrots and sticks is not a good system. The relationship between financial rewards and outstanding work is not as high as most organizations think.

Autonomy – the desire to be self-directed. This increases engagement with compliance.

Mastery – Urge to acquire better skills.

Purpose – A campaign to do something that means and is important. Businesses that only focus on profits without the purpose of pricing will end up with poor customer service and unhappy employees.

Giving employees the option to obtain a certificate is a major first step in their journey to Mastery. Next, consider rewarding your team for working on time to focus on individual projects – this increases autonomy and purpose.

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