Developments in information technology affect every nook and corner of the business world – creating leading trends that dictate business discourse and atmosphere. Every advancement – in terms of new software, increased processing speed, greater storage capacity, and so on – enables corporate employees to heighten their work experiences.
These IT-enabled business trends also affect learner preferences for ways to access and consume workplace learning. Here are the reigning IT-enabled trends that are defining corporate training today:
The greatest of all trends – the trend that’s reigning supreme in corporate circles – is the power of social media. According to a journal published by the McKinsey Global Institute, it took commercial television 13 years to reach 50 million households worldwide. The internet too, for all its popularity, took 3 years to acquire the 50 millionth subscriber. However, it took Facebook a mere year and Twitter even less time to reach the ‘50 million’ milestone. This truly demonstrates the power of social media as a platform of communication.
The benefit of social media for corporate learners was a matter of debate a couple of years ago. But today, all forward thinking organizations are open to harnessing the immense potential of social media platforms to increase the effectiveness of their learning solutions. Learning Management System can now connect directly to social media – to offer learners the opportunity to reach out to peers or experts and open the avenues of collaboration. For instance, we developed a learning portal that allows learners of a soft-skills training company access to short learning modules on the device of their choice. In addition to the various panels on the home page, we also created a social media panel that could connect the learners to their LinkedIn group where they could post queries and share achievements or simply reach out to fellow learners.
Our activities in the workplace – and at home and elsewhere – have become more digital, leading to an abundance of data. The data is now analyzed in real time to create insights into business and performance. In corporate training as well, the extent and impact of learning is awaited for every learning endeavor – more so for technology-enabled learning initiatives.
Modern LMSs thus have advanced reporting structures – which have multiple report formats to meet the diverse needs of their client. Report formats can also be created and generated automatically at regular intervals – as prescribed by the LMS administrators. The data captured in these reports are also rich and varied – from usage data to insights like ‘time-spent’ on certain sections within a course – which can be utilized to understand the preferences of learners.
Dashboards are also created within the LMS to present the analytics in a simple, visually attractive and accessible manner. These dashboards are visible on the learner interface and are updated automatically. Learners and mangers do not have to search the reports to dig out insights.
More and more organizations are realizing the benefits of being ‘asset-light’ and they prefer the pay-as-you-go models. This trend is especially beneficial when procuring software solutions or IT infrastructure – including e-learning platforms.
Cloud LMSs have made it possible to create a learning platform within an organization without a whopping initial capital expenditure. The learning platform can be run on operating costs, and the flexibility of Cloud solutions make sure that the demand can drive the consumption. Learners can log on to the LMS from multiple locations as per their ease – ensuring maximization of system utilization and increase in learning uptake.
There are some skeptics who question the security of data residing in the Cloud LMS, but modern systems have multi-layered firewalls and advanced network design which ensure that only authorized entries into the Cloud LMS are allowed. Additionally, access to sections within the LMS can be restricted to administrators or managers who need to log in to keep an eye on learner progress.
Today, employees need much more knowledge – in addition to domain knowledge –to do their jobs well. A growing preference among the majority of learners is to personalize this knowledge to their specific needs. This can now be achieved with technology.
Technology has now created avenues for personalized learning within the enterprise LMS. The structure of the learning platform can be customized to compartmentalize learners as per their specific job-roles within the organization. Once the learner logs on to the system with the relevant details, the system can identify him and he can then be directed to the relevant content as per the demands of his job.
In addition, for learners who prefer to choose from the available learning content, most modern LMSs have a catalogue structure and ‘search’ feature which makes finding a particular course within the LMS very easy and quick.
The virtual world is coming closer to the physical world with the advancement of technology. In the workplace too, the line between the two words is slowly blurring. Customers are shopping online and employees are meeting more on virtual spaces.
Most organizations are exploring the digital world to improve productivity and sales and to use it as a platform for training as well. With the proliferation of mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, delivery of mobile-enabled content is on the rise. This provides the opportunity for delivering just-in-time training for maximum impact and real-life application of the knowledge gained. Mobile-enabled solutions are especially useful for employees on the move – such as sales personnel. For a long time, hand-held devices were provided to sales personnel to carry documents or literature needed to make a successful sale. The trend now is to provide on-the-job training as well – by using the mobile device to deliver short videos or audio bits, which can be consumed quickly and applied instantly.
To deliver a more life-like experience, we can also harness motion-sensing technology, such as Kinect in Xbox 360, Leap Motion, Tobii, etc. By making learning ‘motion-based’ we can teach physical skills in a virtual environment, with ample room for mistakes, re-tries and practice. We can use this technology to create different types of learning solutions – catering to different organizational needs. Read our post on Motion-Based Learning Solutions to get the details.
Advancements in technology are continuous as they are rapid. The above trends define how corporate learning will evolve in the present decade – with more trends adding on every year. Do you want to map your learning needs with the leading technology trends of today? Write to firstname.lastname@example.org or fill the form below and we will be happy to guide you.
‘Suggested Further Reading– Ten IT enabled business trends for the decade ahead by McKinsey Global Institute’