Companies Want New Learning Technology, But Are They Ready?

It looks like it’s finally happening. Facebook and the iPhone have been around for about 10 years. The 70/20/10 model has been around for 20. Yet, during all that time, most companies have been content delivering two-dimensional learning experiences through either a classroom environment or online courses. There has been talk of things like mobile and social learning. There has also been consideration, thought, and deliberation. Just not a whole lot of action. shutterstock_156997538

But, as I write in Brandon Hall Group’s just-released report, Learning Technology 2016: Embracing Innovation for a Better Learner Experience, that all is about to change.

For the first time, exploring new technologies is the #1 learning priority for organizations going into the next 12 months. It’s a bigger priority than the learning strategy itself, or creating a stronger link between learning and performance. And the top two technology-specific priorities are social/collaborative tools and mobile delivery. This indicates that organizations are finally ready to expand the learning ecosystem … with one big caveat.

The study also found that many organizations are woefully unprepared to make this kind of change. Only about one in five companies has the kind of robust learning technology strategy that leads to successful outcomes. These companies have a technology governance model, strong data collection/analysis and a roadmap for their technology future. Because of this, they are consistently more satisfied with the results of their technology efforts than those companies that feeling their way around in the dark.

Because the majority of companies do not have fully developed technology strategies, there is a lot of dissatisfaction with the solutions they are using. This leads to an environment where 44% of companies are looking to replace their LMS within the next two years. Unless these companies work on their technology strategy, they will most likely find themselves perennially in the replacement group. Technology cannot fix a bad process.

The upshot here is that organizations can clearly benefit from incorporating new learning technologies and modalities into their learning environment. Without a proper strategy, however, those benefits may never be realized. The technology is simply a tool to execute a well thought-out plan.

David Wentworth, Principal Learning Analyst, Brandon Hall Group



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