Companies all over the world are undergoing digital transformations which means leadership and their teams need to be technologically savvy. Many of these professionals will need to undergo cloud skills development. This is because, up until recently, these skills weren’t necessary to be successful in your role.
E-learning, cloud provider training, and cloud skills development software are the typical routes businesses take to train, upskill, and reskill their teams. But before making a purchase, you need to know what cloud skills development is, what the buying process looks like, and, arguably most importantly, how to choose the best vendor. Our guide will answer those questions for you, allowing you to make an informed decision.
Cloud skills development software – What is it?
When searching for tech stack training, buyers may realize they have three approaches to choose from. As mentioned before, you’ll likely consider cloud provider training, e-learning, and development software. Here’s a light breakdown of what each of those options offers.
Cloud provider training
Cloud providers like Microsoft, Amazon, and others have their own training that is owned by them, the cloud provider. This may be a great option to learn their specific cloud system but most companies are implementing a multi-cloud strategy. This renders cloud provider training an incomplete solution for 90% of large corporations.
This option might be attractive to those businesses that already have a subscription to an e-learning platform, but are their team members taking advantage of it? Completion rates are low at just 20% on the high end and the content is often outdated and insufficient. An e-learning course is another incomplete solution.
Cloud skill development software
Differing from e-learning providers, cloud skills development vendors are cloud/multi-cloud specialists. Because of their deep knowledge of the subject, they can offer sufficient, up-to-date training. This approach takes the best of cloud provider training (in-depth knowledge) and e-learning (self-paced courses) to create a product that makes the most sense for your business.
Who’s part of the buying process?
Purchase decisions are generally made by a buyer group usually consisting of a tech leader, an HR department head, those using the software, and executive leadership. The executive will likely be the one confirming the final decision.
There might be other roles involved in the buying process based on the needs of their departments. The legal and security teams, for example, may have requirements they need fulfilled before the purchase is made. It’s important to have them involved at the start to ensure a smooth purchasing process.
The purchase process
Different companies may have varying processes but it boils down to just a few steps.
- Agree on the problem. You must define what your tech-related needs are. Identify what will need to happen if training and upskill efforts aren’t completed or enough. Also, ask stakeholders what their critical needs are.
- Identify vendor candidates. A quick online search is a great place to start to find potential vendors. Asking your network who they used and what their experience was will help as well. We have a sample vendor evaluation plan used to easily pare down the list to just those vendors you want to engage.
- Request a demo. Usually a salesperson will discuss the pain points you identified in step 1 before presenting the demo. This way, the most valuable tools and features are presented to best represent their product as a solution to your problems. Make sure key stakeholders are present so they can ask questions that are relevant to their respective departments.
With just a few more steps ー detailed in the Buyer’s Guide ー you’ll have what you need to elevate your team’s digital skillset with a top-tier vendor.
What about pricing and add-ons?
Generally, vendors offer per-user annual contracts with special offers for multi-year contracts. When it comes to add-ons, it’s best to ask about which white glove services are included in the base price. Services such as implementation, customer success, etc. may enhance your experience but may also come at an additional fee.
Pay attention to what the vendor does and doesn’t charge for. It could give you an idea of where the vendor’s values lie. One of the best indicators that a provider is invested in a high-quality experience is when the vendor includes customer success in the base price.
Worksheet: Revealing the top pick
It’ll help to take notes about each provider’s products and prices compared to your needs and budget. We have a handy worksheet that does just that – while helping you decide what vendor to use.
In it, you’ll record the vendor’s training features, pricing, the type of content they offer, etc. The worksheet will make a side-by-side comparison very simple. Get it, as well as more tips and process details, in the full Buyer’s Guide.
You’ll get even more details about actionable steps for making a choice + data to enforce your decision – did you know while typical e-learning hovers around 15% course completion, Cloud Academy enterprises see an average 80% completion rate?
Take the next step toward getting your team cloud-ready with our Buyer’s Guide.