August 30, 2013 Leave a comment
Normally, when we think of technical-related training, images of rooms loaded with switches, routers, and servers might come to mind. Cloud computing is different. In reality, cloud computing is not a technology, but rather a framework employing a variety of technologies – most notably virtualization, to solve business problems or enable opportunities.
From our own practice, the majority of cloud training students represent non-technical careers and positions. Our training does follow the CompTIA Cloud Essentials course criterion, and is not a technical course, so the non-technical student trend should not come as any big surprise.
What does come as a surprise is how enthusiastically our students dig into the topic. Whether business unit managers, accounting and finance, sales staff, or executives, all students come into class convinced they need to know about cloud computing as an essential part of their future career progression, or even at times to ensure their career survival.
Our local training methodology is based on establishing an indepth knowledge of the NIST Cloud Definitions and Cloud Reference Architecture. Once the students get beyond a perception such documents are too complex, and that we will refer nearly all aspects of training to both documents, we easily establish a core cloud computing knowledge base needed to explore both technical aspects, and more importantly practical aspects of how cloud computing is used in our daily lives, and likely future lives.
This is not significantly different than when we trained business users on how to use, employ, and exploit the Internet in the 90s. Those of us in engineering or technical operations roles viewed this type of training with either amusement or contempt, at times mocking those who did not share our knowledge and experience of internetworking, and ability to navigate the Internet universe.
We are in the same phase of absorbing and developing tacit knowledge of compute and storage access on demand, service-oriented architectures, Software as a Service, the move to a subscription-based application world.
Those students who attend cloud computing training leave the class better able to engage in decision-making related to both personal and organizational information and communication technology, and less exposed to the spectrum of cloud washing, or marketing use of “cloud” and “XXX as a Service” language overwhelming nearly all media on subjects ranging from hamster food to SpaceX and hyper loops.
Even the hardest core engineers who have degraded themselves to join a non-technical business-oriented cloud course walk away with a better view on how their tools support organizational agility (good jargon, no?), in addition to the potential financial impacts, reduced application development cycles, disaster recovery, business continuity, and all the other potential benefits to the organization when adopting cloud computing.
Some even walk away from the course planning a breakup with some of their favorite physical servers.
The Bottom Line
No student has walked away from a cloud computing course knowing less about the role, impact, and potential of implementing cloud in nearly any organization. While the first few hours of class embrace a lot of great debates on the value of cloud computing, by the end of the course most students agree they are better prepared to consider, envision, evaluate, and address the potential or shortfalls of cloud computing.
Cloud computing is, and will continue to have influence on many aspects of our lives. It is not going away anytime soon. The more we can learn, either through self-study or resident training, the better position we’ll be in to make intelligent decisions regarding the use and value of cloud in our lives and organizations.