Presented by Skillsoft

Organizations worldwide have adopted the cloud as essential for its ability to store data, host applications, and deploy new solutions. However, stable cloud infrastructure is difficult to maintain and can become a costly and risk-laden part of your organization. In addition, skilled and certified cloud and cybersecurity experts are hard to come by, which means that leaders are faced with decades of untouched data, entrenched cultures, and employees with non-transferable skills.

Above: Cloud Course Consumptions / Hours Worldwide

Practically every industry vertical is either migrating to the cloud, deploying cloud solutions, or building cloud-native applications and services. The figure below shows which industries are consuming the most cloud content. The Business Services/Consulting vertical is the largest group of companies using cloud assets, likely because they are also assisting many companies from all industries in their migration to the cloud and building of cloud-native services and products in the cloud.

Above: Top Industry Verticals Utilizing Cloud Content by Hours Consumed

With cloud skills in short demand during a time of increased technological innovation, many organizations are choosing to reskill and upskill their current employees. By enhancing your employees’ abilities and training them in a future-ready skill set, you’re gaining improved retention, boosting morale, and ensuring that institutional knowledge remains within the company.

There are many effective ways to provide current employees with the skills they need. Our recommendation is to use goal-oriented, scenario-based, hands-on labs to provide skill development through the actual application of those skills. Most of the learning within organizations follows the traditional model that simply does not produce the result needed by modern businesses and their workforce. A robust training program promotes continuous learning and signals to employees that you’re invested in growing their skills to scale alongside the organization.

There’s no substitute for experiential learning

As more organizations focus on becoming agile, they learn the value of “fail fast, fail forward.” There’s a lot to be learned from failure and having skilled talent ready to mitigate or negate risk is crucial. Another option is to contain this “fail fast, fail forward” philosophy in a training environment where employees can engage in experiential challenges to build durable skills in a safe setting.

Non-linear and challenge-centric learning pushes the learner to complete a task and understand how and why the task needed to be completed. Giving employees an on-demand learning solution allows them to find the right challenges to keep their skills sharp.

Typical learning programs push the learner through a process of learning and testing instead of doing. The act of doing and succeeding reinforces learning, and often inspires further learning and curiosity, while rote memorization is often quickly forgotten. Reskilling and upskilling require a lot of practice. To get the most out of learning, practice tasks must be authentic and challenging, immediate feedback must be provided, and a period of learner reflection and adjustment should be included. You’ll also want to ensure the training you’re using mirrors real-world tasks.

Forward-thinking learners and professionals have come to expect more from learning. Therefore, it is too important to leave your cloud training to traditional learning design. Instead, a blend of on-demand courses, purpose-built/prescriptive journeys/paths, and challenge-based labs offers a new and innovative way forward.

It opens doors for those looking to understand cloud technologies, those wanting to explore cloud more deeply, and those who truly want to be challenged to demonstrate new capabilities, as well as gets learners building the durable skills that they can truly use.

Take the time to learn more about the cloud challenge labs described here. Then, incorporate them into your organization’s learning processes to create learning that helps drive actual results in your organization.

Interested in learning more? Reserve your spot for free at the upcoming VB Live event “Cloud upskilling: What’s really needed for success.”

Mike Hendrickson is Vice President Tech & Dev Products at Skillsoft.

Frank Garland is Chief Product Officer at Learn on Demand Systems.

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