The world is changing rapidly, and technology is changing the fastest of all. While the vast majority of the world population is puzzled by and even nervous about technology, they envy those lucky ones at the forefront of technological advancement, imagining that at least they are assured of their jobs. If only they knew.
No one is at the forefront of anything because the forefront is disappearing as it arrives. Everything is in constant flux, moving forward, becoming more advanced. Even highly skilled IT and cloud professionals have to continually upskill to keep up with the latest developments, as is the case with big data, machine learning, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence professionals.
Several recent IDC reports have highlighted the need for skills training initiatives. Rapid technological developments and digital transformation have resulted in a severe IT skills gap. There is a constant need to fill positions that require specialized skills and a shortage of qualified professionals to fill those positions.
This has resulted in a situation where companies have to plan for upcoming skills requirements so they can implement new technologies. To do this successfully, IT professionals must constantly upgrade their skills.
According to this IDC Survey Spotlight, “By 2022, the financial impact of the IT skills gap will grow to $775 billion worldwide, from $302 billion in 2019, as a result of the delayed release of products/services, missed revenue, or increased cost. IT organizations must have robust strategic skills development plans in place for all critical IT roles.”
The C3 Global Cloud Skills Tour
One company taking the skills gap seriously, particularly in cloud computing, is the Leading Learning Partners Association (The LLPA).
The LLPA has just concluded a C3 event, which is part of their Global Cloud Skills Tour. C3 stands for “C to the power of 3”, representing a cloud certification circle model that comprises training, certification, reporting, and supports services.
The virtual event was attended by more than 2,000 training professionals, business decision-makers, HR professionals, and Azure experts from all over the world who shared their knowledge and expertise on cloud computing in general and Azure specifically. The event focused on the latest in role-based training and certifications, including skills training plans and how to develop performance teams.
The attendees were treated to a discussion on cloud computing by popular Microsoft Azure expert and trainer, Tiago Costa, whose firsts words were that Azure training is very challenging because things keep changing all the time.
Here is the definition of cloud computing he shared with his audience: The delivery of computing service (servers, storage, databases, networking) over the Internet (‘’the cloud’’) to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale.
On the future of cloud computing, Costa had this to say. The future of the cloud won’t be just running servers and migrating virtual machines. The future is the intelligent cloud or the intelligent edge. It will involve the systematic expansion of a set of connected systems and devices into the cloud – data from connected devices will go to the intelligent cloud, and humans will derive intelligence from that data.
Questions discussed during one of the panel discussions
In the light of so many online opportunities to learn, why are instructors still necessary?
The pandemic forces people into isolation, but we need connection. We learn better when we learn together, said one of the panellists. When you do in-person training, you are with an instructor familiar with your industry – you can ask your instructor questions related to your industry in real-time. Your instructor is committed to helping you get your certification. There is a whole community that supports your learning and gives you feedback on your progress, whereas online, that lack of support can be seen in the low completion rate of only 20%.
Why should organizations partner with accredited training providers?
Partnering with accredited training providers gives you a 100% guarantee that you will get the knowledge you are looking for and that your organization needs to move forward. These organizations have certified trainers with in-depth industry experience who are monitored by the vendor, in this case, Microsoft. They also provide top-quality training content.
Certification validates that you have obtained the knowledge and the skills appropriate for a specific job role. Besides, certifications are standardized, which means they are valid in all countries. You can work anywhere in the world with a Microsoft certification, and organizations can employ professionals from anywhere in the world.
Finally, certification is an asset for the people who obtained them and for the organizations that employ them.
How can organizations retain top talent?
This is an important point for organizations as recruiting, hiring, and training a new candidate are more costly than retaining existing talent. It was agreed that the number one factor is a human investment. And the best investment is training. Training gives employees more knowledge, builds their confidence, and helps them to grow. People who are growing tend to be happy in their jobs and are easier to retain.
How do we develop an IT pipeline?
To build up a talent pipeline, two things need to happen. People with no or limited IT skills need to be reskilled to learn basic programming skills for example. In addition, people that are completing university programs need training in topics like machine learning, cybersecurity, data science, and AI to enable them to work in current job roles and future job roles that we cannot now anticipate.
IT certification has become invaluable
Upskilling is a major reason for pursuing IT certification. According to the 2021 Value of IT Certification Report, 73% of the 29,000 candidates trained by Pearson VUE in 2020 cited the need for upskilling as their primary reason for pursuing IT certification.
According to the report, there’s an increasing demand for IT certification in general. In 2020, more than 2.6 million IT certification exams were written, which is a 16% increase over the previous year. Interestingly, most of the candidates were not supported by their place of work to study; they had to do it on their own time and pocket.
There was a dramatic growth in certifications earned in cloud computing – 28% of all certifications earned in 2020 were in cloud computing. That is a 164% increase from 2019.
Looking to the Future: Microsoft Inspire 2021
The LLPA enjoyed Microsoft Inspire 2021, learning about Microsoft’s new opportunities for its partners. The sessions were exciting, inspiring and informative. The daily schedules were jam-packed with training sessions, new product and program updates, ask-the-expert sessions, and loads of opportunities to network.
We were excited to learn more about these, and other Microsoft Inspire highlights:
- The new era of hybrid personal computing: the Windows 365 Cloud PC
- Windows 365 — a new category of computing
- New ways to deliver a secure hybrid workplace with Azure Virtual Desktop and Windows 365
- New Azure infrastructure capabilities
- All the cool new stuff in Microsoft 365
Well done and congratulations to all the 2021 Partner of the Year Award Winners and Finalists and applaud our member, Trainocate for being awarded 2021 Microsoft Learning Partner of the Year.
If you missed it, be sure to get it on-demand!