1 Spanish University for DIstance Education (UNED) (SPAIN)
2 Uninettuno University (ITALY)
4 Lisburn Enterprise (UNITED KINGDOM)
6 Anatoliki (GREECE)
7 Madan Parque (PORTUGAL)
8 Effebi (ITALY)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN17 Proceedings
Publication year: 2017
Pages: 7523-7526
ISBN: 978-84-697-3777-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2017.0347
Conference name: 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2017
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Cloud computing is changing the way SMEs approach to ICT. It is facilitating new corporate and entrepreneurship models at all levels. This breakthrough paradigm applies to companies, public administrations and Universities, and can enhance their innovation, cost-effectiveness and competitiveness [1].

However, there are factors still inhibiting SME’s decision to migrate to a Cloud Computing environment [2]. Some of these factors are related to privacy and lack of control over the infrastructures. Other factors are more related to education:
• The lack of understanding of the infrastructure, cost, and appropriateness to the needs and scenarios of different companies from different business environments.
• The ICT skill levels of users, managers, and entrepreneurs.
• The readiness of SMEs to adopt Cloud Computing from a business perspective.
• Less time.

Some of these issues can be addressed by educating employees on the concept of Cloud Computing and developing business-based ICT skills in SMEs [5]. This will allow them to make informed decisions about the appropriateness of Cloud Computing to their business strategy and what aspects can benefit them the most.

In this scenario MOOCs appear to be a good tool to train SMEs employees about this disruptive technology. However, the value of the certificates provided to those students finishing the MOOCs are not usually valid in the labour market. For that reason, UNED is currently working on developing professional qualifications based on MOOCs. We are developing training programs on cloud computing for businesses and Universities [2]. Based on detailed needs and professional skills analysis several courses will be created to cover the current needs on cloud computing.

The resulting courses will be associated to a set of VET (Vocational Education and Training) qualification at different levels. VET is an initiative fostered by the European Commission to have a common academic credit framework for vocational training certification. Thus, thanks to these courses students will be able to update their technical skills, improve their employability opportunities and get certifications of their acquired knowledge.

The IN-CLOUD project has been designed in order to raise awareness among European Companies, Public Administrations and Universities regarding how cloud services and technologies can boost economic growth and innovation.

[1] Marian M., Hamburg I.: “Guidelines for increasing the adoption of cloud computing within SMEs”. Cloud Computing 2012: The Third International Conference on Cloud Computing, GRIDs, and Virtualization, pp. 7-10, 2012.
[2] Ross P.K., Blumenstein M.: “Cloud computing as a facilitator of SME entrepreneurship”, Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, n° 27(1), pp. 87-101, 2015.
MOOC, certifications, vocational training, cloud computing.