November 1, 2011 2 Comments
How to Align Training, Technology and Collaboration with Business Goals
By Ramesh Ramani, Founder and CEO, Expertus
Today, due to tightened budgets and diminishing returns, your senior leadership is likely challenged to demonstrate the value of training and related learning investments. They’re being asked to directly correlate specific workforce, partner and customer learning initiatives with desired strategic business outcomes.
Until a few years ago, technology and process constraints made this task incredibly difficult – if not outright impossible. However, today it’s possible to map learning relevance with business success – even in a world of changing demographics, preferences and generational styles.
The lines between training and learning are blurring. And cloud technology solutions are a perfect foundation for a strong, seamless bond across formal learning management and informal, collaborative, social knowledge-sharing activities.
Overcoming Our Challenges
Traditionally, organizations have grappled with 2 dimensions of the learning challenge:
- Technology limitations that inhibit support of seemingly simple business goals – for example, the concept of distributing the right information, to the right people, at the right time.
- Alignment of learning activities with business goals - a more challenging issue, because, among other things, learning programs aren’t the only factor that influence business performance.
What’s more, in today’s flat world, growth-oriented businesses more frequently depend on an extended-enterprise network to generate global product and services sales. But traditional remote training is not scalable enough to keep pace with today’s fast-changing business needs.
Developing the Solution
This is why learning in the cloud can be a game-changer for your organization. It instantly delivers content to a global audience. It fosters enterprise-wide collaboration. And it helps you link learning with performance – which ultimately drives innovation and achieves your targeted business goals.
With a cloud-based learning platform, your company can be more responsive to fluid business conditions – dynamically and painlessly scaling resources, content and access up or down without burdening your internal IT organization and infrastructure.
A cloud-based learning solution can also be enabled to detect workload changes and automatically provision appropriate resources for your various user communities. This helps your business react more swiftly to competitive threats; drive simultaneous worldwide product roll-outs; and pursue more new opportunities, while containing costs and managing risks.
Tip #2: Drive Productivity with a Content Distribution Network
When augmented with other technologies, such as a Content Distribution Network, a cloud-based learning platform becomes a powerful tool to make appropriate localized content simultaneously available across many geographies – a level of optimization and efficiency that was previously impractical.
Now employees from across your organization can fully leverage learning tools, knowledge sharing, research, resources, within a seamless, real-time, unified ecosystem. They can also leverage the best practices and lessons-learned from your organization’s top performers. The result? Users will know more, be more productive and can work collectively to drive innovation – a key to sustainable competitive advantage.
Tip #3: Improve Learning Adoption with Prescriptive Content
Advanced data delivery is another cloud computing characteristic that promotes learner adoption. Because cloud learning makes prescriptive information and other resources available to each user precisely when needed, learners can better manage their time, and are likely to be more satisfied with the learning experience, overall.
Tip #4: Accelerate Innovation with Advanced Analytics and Reporting
Cloud-based learning solutions also facilitate new, powerful business analytics and reporting tools that can help your company gauge effectiveness and adjust it accordingly – by location or by business function. For example, the success of product launch support in one country can be retooled for another location – and this can be implemented very quickly without additional planning cycles.
Services such as these enable your company to target specific learning needs and objectives with minimal investment and risk. Viable applications include:
- Product/service roll-outs – Dramatically shorten rollout cycles by delivering comprehensive training, education and knowledge transfer virtually, on a global scale.
- New hire training – Provide on-boarding and ongoing mentoring programs virtually, to dramatically time-to-proficiency and enhance employee engagement.
- Business impact meetings – Bring key managers and experts together to accomplish targeted business objectives – through collaborative brainstorming and problem solving sessions.
For some, cloud computing is still a nebulous concept for many to grasp. But it’s becoming a hot topic in boardrooms around the world – and for good reason. It’s already transformed many aspects of information technology. But it’s much more than a concept. Cloud-based platforms like the ExpertusONE dynamic LMS are playing a pivotal role in transforming corporate learning, workforce development and performance management.
Note from Ramesh: How will cloud learning and talent management impact your business? For more ideas, read my complete article, as featured in CLO Magazine. Visit the Expertus website. Or email questions and comments to me at email@example.com.