Session Spotlight: Q&A with Antonella Corno, Senior Manager of Product Strategy, Cisco
What is the future of network engineering, and how do you stay relevant?
By Edward Gately
It's the quintessential question for professionals who increasingly are finding that the half-life of any newly acquired skill is roughly two and a half years. Given this rapid — and accelerating — rate of change, what is the best way to attain and hone the right skills to ensure future success?
During this Software Defined Enterprise Conference & Expo (SDxE) (tmt.knect365.com/sdxe/) panel discussion titled “Your Career: Certifications, Degrees Or Just-In-Time Training?,” Antonella Corno, senior manager of product strategy at Learning@Cisco, will discuss strategies for staying ahead of the learning curve.
In a Q&A with SDxE, Corno gives a sneak peek of the information she plans to share with attendees.
SDxE: What do you think is the biggest barrier organizations face with digital transformation – technology or culture? And why?
Antonella Corno: It’s a blend of both. In the new digital era, acquiring and building talent is a critical barrier for organizations. In fact, one of the top concerns among CEOs today is the availability of professionals prepared with key skills to drive business transformation and innovation. As a result, technology and talent must work in tandem to achieve the best digital outcomes. With the rapid pace of change in technology, we need a workforce that is equipped to disrupt, evolve, drive better business outcomes and create new market opportunities.
SDxE: What challenges have you faced in your company with digital transformation? Where have you had success?
AC: Ten years ago we said we wanted to transform the way that people access training and empower their careers by educating them in new and different ways. We had a great vision to create the next generation workforce to fuel the industry of the Internet of Things (IoT) and digital world. The only way we could achieve this was to build a 100 percent digitized learning offering, ensuring it was immersive, engaging and used data and outcomes as its measurement of success.
The sweeping changes that digitization requires are disruptive in the most basic sense. Real digitization takes real work, real change, and real transformation comes from difficult work—not superficial effort. So that’s why Jeanne Believeau Dunn, our vice president and general manager, says it’s sexy, but it’s not pretty—it’s really, really hard.
One of the challenges in going digital is maintaining engagement. As a result, we had to make sure the team thought differently about learning to build a new experience that would, in fact, keep individuals engaged – even more so than the classroom.
It’s been a major win, and we continue to evolve the offering for ourselves, our customers and partners. Was it an easy process? No. Was it worth it? Absolutely.
SDxE: Your panel is going to discuss “Your Career: Certifications, Degrees Or Just-In-Time training?” Without too many spoilers, can you give us an overview?
AC: Without giving away too much, our focus will be on how network engineers can keep their skills up to date in a rapidly evolving digital era. Technology is changing at an incredibly fast pace, which means that the IT professional must adapt quickly. How can they do this? That’s what we’ll talk about. We will equip IT professionals with practical advice they can apply to their career journeys.
SDxE: What is the best way to attain and hone the right skills to ensure future success in software defined business?
AC: Keeping up with technology today requires continuous learning, and ongoing and flexible access to training. Technology is evolving dramatically and rapidly. In parallel, learner preferences are changing. They want broad choices and learning options that deliver the flexibility to gain skills on demand and stay current as technology continues to evolve.
Cisco has been educating the workforce for more than 20 years through our Learning@Cisco program. Our 3 million strong certified community would agree that we are at the forefront of preparing them for the digital agenda ahead.
SDxE: What do you hope attendees gain from your session and the overall conference?
AC: I know they will gain valuable and actionable insights from the panelists, including strategies for staying ahead of the learning curve. I hope they leave inspired to take charge of their careers.