We just finished up the Cloud Workshops in Chicago, Dallas, and New York, my pet project for the last year and something totally new to Global Knowledge.
When we started to think about doing them, I looked at what was out there and everything I saw was tied to one of the many cloud vendors. We were going to hire a company to manage the project but I decided I could do it.
We decided to make this series vendor neutral and once word got out we had vendors approach us and ask to sponsor the events. We turned them down because it was important to us that we stay sponsor free (we did not even mention our own training). The goal was to educate and make sure the attendees were thinking about everything involved with cloud computing and provide something that was not out there already.
We understand that cloud is a business transformation and it was our goal to make that clear and help the attendees understand that just because you have gone virtual does not mean you have made the full cloud transition. There is a lot to consider from personnel, processes, and technologies. A workbook for attendees to use allowed them to work on their own organization’s plan during the panel discussions. Many attendees used this to keep track of things they wanted to remember and assignments to give out to their team once they went back to work.
A panel of three (Hank, Michael, and Jack) with vast experience in cloud implementation led the discussions. Hank Marquis has been working in IT since 1980, with roles spanning I&O, app development, service management, and most recently Practice Director for Cloud Solutions at Global Knowledge. Michael Scarborough helped numerous organizations in various industries adopt service management best practices and now regularly delivers service management and cloud training. Jack Wilson is a consultant and public speaker on the subjects of cloud computing, strategic virtualization, innovation and changing the IT/Business culture.
Each discussion was backed by research done by Global Knowledge through surveys, focus groups, and readings. We looked into what concerns organizations had before and after moving to the cloud, issues they wish they had known before hand, and what to do/not to do when making the transition. We covered the whole spectrum of organization change and DevOps, including business solutions, development, operations, and infrastructure.
The whole planning and production experience not only taught me about managing a project this size but I learned a lot about cloud itself. I went from barely knowing the basic definition of cloud computing to gaining a full understanding of what it takes to start a cloud implementation within an organization. It was an added bonus that 83% of attendees also gained new knowledge and skills from this training.