Broadcasting A Direction in Cloud: How Comprehensive Skill Development Powers Turner’s Innovation Journey

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Who is Turner?

Turner is a global entertainment, sports, and news organization that owns and operates some of the most valuable brands in the world including CNN, TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network and Turner Sports. The company creates premium content and delivers exceptional experiences to fans fueled by data-driven insights and industry-leading technology.

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We spoke with Turner’s Stacey Young Rivers, Director of Technology Skills Analysis and Development, and Don Browning, Vice President of Cloud Architecture.


Top-Down Vision, Bottom-Up Focus

By 2016, Turner had worked to define the critical job skills that mapped to their technical roadmap. Staff were highly skilled in managing Turner’s existing (and largely) physical infrastructure, and management sought a proactive approach to cloud hosting.

They knew adopting a leading platform was necessary, but also believed a one-size-fits-all training initiative would not deliver the change that would align resources to the vision.

A Role to Develop Capabilities to Roadmap

Turner built an initial cloud team from within, but those initiatives required a broader set of capabilities. Senior management asked for a comprehensive skill assessment program to understand where the organization stood and what was needed.

Enter Stacey Young Rivers, Director of Technology Skills Analysis and Development at Turner. Responsible for developing a continuous training program in-line with the technical roadmap by Turner CTO Jeremy Legg. Rivers set out to create a comprehensive approach that would serve as many of the GTO staff members as possible. Her research and reflection led her to consider a university model consisting of nine subgroups or colleges focused on technical areas including operations, support, maintenance, and cloud, which would support the greater technology roadmap.

Ushering in Innovation

Given the importance of cloud computing to the Turner roadmap, selecting the right platform for cloud training was critical. Rivers discovered Cloud Academy as one of the solutions to help employees learn the cloud.

“We examined the skills gaps in our organization closely and found cloud computing near the top,” continues Rivers. “It was clear that Cloud Academy had the competitive advantage to serve the learning needs of our employees. If you’re going to train, then you have to own training,” Rivers said. “Just selecting a vendor and making the material available to people is not a training strategy. We got it right by selecting Cloud Academy for an area where we needed to gain competitive advantage and the platform supported our business strategy. We developed a complete program and support structure around the platform itself for employees to engage and showcase their learning.”


Deployed key workloads to AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud


Developed a comprehensive training program

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