Skip to main content

Cloud Skills: Transforming Your Teams with Technology and Data

How building Cloud Academy helped us understand the challenges of transforming large teams, and how data and planning can help with your cloud transformation.

When we started Cloud Academy a few years ago, our founding team knew that cloud was going to be a revolution for the IT industry. From early on, we could see how companies were transforming their infrastructure in the cloud, and it was absolutely clear they couldn’t do it without a major skill and workforce transformation.

In this article, I will introduce a new enterprise feature designed to transform large IT teams at scale, and share how we are transforming our solution from an enterprise cloud training platform to an Operating System for Cloud Skills.

Buying new technology is easy but changing people is (really) hard

Back to our early days… While we were absolutely right about our market and the enterprise skills gap, other pieces of the picture were less clear. If I think about how organizations use++the cloud today, the changes required at the workforce level to adopt the cloud at scale were more difficult than we anticipated.

We clearly underestimated the difficulty of asking large teams to learn new capabilities such as Agile, DevOps, AWS, Azure, Containers. In the cloud, technologies are evolving so rapidly that, once your teams are aligned on your new AWS/Azure environment, there are 10 new features and services that they will need to learn. Only when we started talking to Directors and VPs in large IT departments did we understand what organizations were up against when faced with the challenge of transforming teams of thousands of people.

We summarized some of what we learned in this white paper on cloud migration.

The role of data and planning in a cultural transformation process

All CIOs, CTOs, and CEOs believe that cloud and DevOps will help their organizations move faster and build more technology. They know that their business has to get there to survive over the next 5-10 years. Like everyone else, they are constantly competing to acquire the capabilities their organization needs to move the business forward. However, acquiring skills won’t be enough. To stay ahead, existing teams—and a solid strategy to retain and reskill them—must be part of the equation.

It isn’t easy. Transforming teams and evolving skills in large organizations is more cultural than technical, and it starts with a clear knowledge alignment in the organization. Doing so for technologies that move as quickly as cloud, DevOps, and the entire modern IT ecosystem requires solid preparation and constant progress monitoring to know where your organization stands in building the skills you need.

Most of our customers know where they want their cloud skills and people to be in three years. Actually, they know what they would love to build to compete, especially given how quickly some industries are evolving. But how many of these companies know exactly how to get there?

Not many. That’s why the most successful transformations have two elements in common: great planning and lots of data. Planning means having a structured roadmap, usually based on a long-term vision, and data.

Skill profiles, the first component of your operating system for cloud skills

At Cloud Academy, we are building the enterprise platform to constantly monitor, develop, and transform your organization’s technology skills, at scale. Think of it as an operating system that provides control and enables specific actions to prepare your company to always perform at its best. Over the past 12 months, we’ve been working on a new technology, a core building block of our vision of a cloud OS, that is now available in our platform: Cloud Skill Profiles.

Cloud Academy Skills Profile

The road to Skill Profiles started with this vision: imagine a CIO who can constantly visualize how his 5,000+ member IT organization is performing, the skills of every team and individual, and how all of that changed since the company started its cloud transformation journey. Even more importantly, imagine knowing how your teams are performing compared to the rest of the industry? We wanted to help companies visualize how skills are being built and progressing in a way that is meaningful enough to support decision making and drive results.

To start, we asked ourselves, “How can we show the cloud skills an organization has today?” And then, “How do you align thousands of people, all with a different initial skillset?” A modern IT team may have 30+ different roles. “How can we help organizations prepare teams with the skills required for specific roles?” Lots of questions, I know.

We went back to our Skill Assessment technology and realized that we could have answered most of those questions by providing our customers with the right data at the right time. Our content library already has thousands of questions, quiz sessions, and exams. Our users are already assessing their skills every month with hundreds of thousands of questions answered. We had to use that data in a meaningful way for our customers.

Building a Knowledge Graph (a proprietary technology built by our team) gave us the ability to put all of our data and information together. Imagine a big map of nodes and connections that describes how cloud skills are connected to one another. Vendors, services, domains. Everything. What kind of skills go into building a continuous delivery solution? This approach gave us a starting point to build a bigger solution for our customers.

Connecting the dots with Skill Profiles

While we complete our beta period, Skill Profiles are already helping our customers get a better understanding of their teams. We are integrating it in the Cloud Academy platform following two main goals:

  • Skill Profiles allow our customers to onboard teams with a clear understanding of their current skill gaps. Once they have that data, our Customer Success team partners with customers to build custom Training Plans for their organization. Part of our current focus is connecting skills and onboarding to your company’s job roles.
  • Let leadership at each level in the organization follow their organization’s skills evolution. Using Skill Profiles, you can visualize where your organization’s skills stand today and how they have evolved over the last 24 months, or quickly compare how your Development and Security teams have evolved on their DevOps knowledge.

In the next two quarters, we will continue iterating on our Cloud Skill Profiles technology and we will be integrating it across our platform, providing the features and insights previewed here. We’ll also transform those insights into precise actions that our customers will be able take to accelerate cloud transformation, onboarding, and any of their training initiatives.

Skill Profiles are integrated with our enterprise suite where some customers are already using it and other products currently in beta to create custom skills and custom content (think about the ability to create and measure results for your own internal certification) through our Content Engine solution.

If you have questions or comments, I am happy to start a conversation, I am on Twitter at @stefanobellasio

Stefano Bellasio, CEO and founder Cloud Academy Inc. 

Written by

Stefano Bellasio

Stefano's a computer engineering guy that loves building products. He's the CEO and co-founder of All his experience is in the web hosting and cloud computing industry where he started other companies before. He loves talking with all readers of Cloud Academy blog, so feel free to email him at!

Related Posts

— January 15, 2019

2018 Was a Big Year for Content at Cloud Academy

As Head of Content at Cloud Academy I work closely with our customers and my domain leads to prioritize quarterly content plans that will achieve the best outcomes for our customers.We started 2018 with two content objectives: To show customer teams how to use Cloud Services to solv...

Read more
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Cloud Computing
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • microsoft azure
— December 21, 2018

2019 Cloud Computing Predictions

2018 was a banner year in cloud computing, with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) all continuing to launch new and innovative services. We also saw growth among enterprises in the adoption of methodologies supporting the move toward cloud-native...

Read more
  • 2019 Predictions
  • Cloud Computing
Albert Qian
— August 28, 2018

Introducing Assessment Cycles

Today, cloud technology platforms and best practices around them move faster than ever, resulting in a paradigm shift for how organizations onboard and train their employees. While assessing employee skills on an annual basis might have sufficed a decade ago, the reality is that organiz...

Read more
  • Cloud Computing
  • Product Feature
  • Skill Profiles
— June 26, 2018

Disadvantages of Cloud Computing

If you want to deliver digital services of any kind, you’ll need to compute resources including CPU, memory, storage, and network connectivity. Which resources you choose for your delivery, cloud-based or local, is up to you. But you’ll definitely want to do your homework first.Cloud ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Cloud Computing
  • Google Cloud
Albert Qian
— May 23, 2018

Announcing Skill Profiles Beta

Now that you’ve decided to invest in the cloud, one of your chief concerns might be maximizing your investment. With little time to align resources with your vision, how do you objectively know the capabilities of your teams?By partnering with hundreds of enterprise organizations, we’...

Read more
  • Cloud Computing
  • Product Feature
  • Skill Profiles
— April 5, 2018

A New Paradigm for Cloud Training is Needed (and Other Insights We Can Democratize)

It’s no secret that cloud, its supporting technologies, and the capabilities it unlocks is disrupting IT. Whether you’re cloud-first, multi-cloud, or migrating workload by workload, every step up the ever-changing cloud capability curve depends on your people, your technology, and your ...

Read more
  • Cloud Computing
— March 29, 2018

What is Chaos Engineering? Failure Becomes Reliability

In the IT world, failure is inevitable. A server might go down, an app may fail, etc. Does your team know what to do during a major outage? Do you know what instances may cause a larger systems failure? Chaos engineering, or chaos as a service, will help you fail responsibly.It almo...

Read more
  • Cloud Computing
  • DevOps
— November 22, 2017

AWS re:Invent 2017: Themes and Tools Shaping Cloud Computing in 2018

As the sixth annual re:Invent approaches, it’s a good time to look back at how the industry has progressed over the past year. How have last year’s trends held up, and what new trends are on the horizon? Where is AWS investing with its products and services? How are enterprises respondi...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Cloud Adoption
  • Cloud Computing
  • reInvent17
— October 27, 2017

Cloud Academy at Cloud Expo Santa Clara, Oct 31 – Nov 2

71% of IT decision-makers believe that a lack of cloud expertise in their organizations has resulted in lost revenue.1 That’s why building a culture of cloud—and the common language and skills to support cloud-first—is so important for companies who want to stay ahead of the transfo...

Read more
  • Cloud Computing
  • Events
— October 24, 2017

Product News: Announcing Cloud Academy Exams, Improved Filtering, Navigation, and More

At Cloud Academy, we’re obsessed with creating value for the organizations who trust us as the single source for the learning, practice, and collaboration that enables a culture of cloud.Today, we’re excited to announce the general availability of several new features in our Content L...

Read more
  • Cloud Computing
— August 29, 2017

On ‘the public understanding of encryption’ Tweet by Paul Johnston

Some of the questions by journalists about encryption prove they don't get it. Politicians don't seem to get it either (most of them). In fact, outside technology, there are some ridiculous notions of what encryption means. Over and over again, the same rubbish around encryption gets re...

Read more
  • Cloud Computing
— July 13, 2017

Our Hands-on Labs have a new look

Building new hands-on labs and improving our existing labs is a major focus of Cloud Academy for 2017 and beyond. If you search "types of adult learning," you will get approximately 16.9 gazillion hits. Many will boast about how they meet the needs of a certain type of learner (up to 70...

Read more
  • Cloud Computing
  • hands-on labs