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What is the Future of Software Training?

Posted by Dan St. Hilaire  /  November 19, 2008  / 

This is a question we concern ourselves with here at KnowledgeWave, because our business depends on the answer. Businesses and organizations of all sizes, from one-person micro-businesses to larger operations which employ hundreds or even thousands of people all need training. How should it best be chosen and delivered? As business itself changes, so does the answer to this question.

Trends

Changing trends tell us what's happening now, and from current events we can figure out what might happen in the future if events continue. So here are some trends we've noticed:

  • Smaller workforce, which means only a small number of personnel can be out of the office at a time for training. As the number of single-person businesses increases, more people simply cannot take an entire day or several days to attend lengthy training sessions.
  • Globally dispersed workforce, which means that physical training locations are no longer an optimal solution for training.
  • Advances in technology (and in how technology is used), which provide entirely new ways of communicating and interacting, such as webinars, teleconference classes, social media, web video, blogging, and more.
  • Rising fuel costs, which make travel more expensive.
  • Increasing desire to cut costs, which make time- and money-sucking travel a much less appealing option for training.
  • Environmental impact awareness, which makes us conscious of how travel takes its toll on the environment by producing greenhouse gases and using fossil fuels. The use of consumable goods increaeses during travel, producing more recyclable and non-recyclable waste.

How KnowledgeWave Answers the Trends

We've taken a hard look at what's happening in the world and have morphed our business into a highly competitive 21st-century operation. We've done this by redirecting our attention to the entire world, not just our "back yard" of Vermont. We've embraced technologies and business practices that meet the needs of the world, not just Vermonters.

Highly cross-trained and knowledgeable staff

Nobody at KnowledgeWave does just one thing. All of us are trainers, but some of us are also designers, marketers, salespersons, copywriters, accountants, and courseware writers. We are small and extremely agile. Case in point: we successfully launched our webinar offerings two months ahead of schedule.

Moving from the classroom to the internet

Physical travel is becoming less desireable for many reasons, as the above trends show. Eliminating travel saves money, time, and the environment. Through webinars and remote classroom instruction (RCI), we can actually offer more for the same amount of money or less, but our clients enjoy reduced or eliminated travel expenses and time out-of-office.

Embracing managed asset reflation

Other training companies become our allies, not our competition. The in-house training departments of companies around the world have now become our customers, instead of our competition.

KnowledgeWave produces private-label training that any organization can adopt as its own. We develop and produce our own training curriculum and materials as a product anyone can access, not just our own training customers. Like Amazon and other online successes, we not only sell our end product in a repackageable format, we sell the process which produces the product, too. Every part of what we do is saleable. Business guru Tom Peters calls this "managed asset reflation".

What is the Future of Software Training?

So... we believe the future of software training is very bright. We're making moves to make sure the light shines on us and on our customers. The necessities of global business require the workforce be imaginitive, knowledgeable, and efficient in the use of software. Hiring the right people is the key to success for an organization. When the person and the software don't quite match up, you keep the person and "fix" the software aspect via training. A workforce needs to constantly improve in its use of software in order to more efficiently and productively carry out tasks and objectives.