What are some of the benefits that enterprises can expect from adopting cloud-based training operations?
On-premise training operations use disparate systems which often silo data limiting a training operations’ ability to positively impact organizational goals. Cloud-based training operations allow systems to integrate and provide training team’s the ability to access systems from anywhere, via a URL. In today’s world of flexible and remote working environments, this is a must-have. It is often very difficult to understand how to move off of a system or systems built for your company, such as spreadsheets built over time and localized knowledge, but technology in the training space has advanced so much that once buyers and users experience it, they never go back.
Training organizations feel limited in their ability to impact the organization due to their reliance on internal IT and other departments to give them the information they need to operate. Cloud-based software gives the autonomy back to the training organization allowing them to analyze their impact on the organization by providing access to the data they need and removing the support and reporting burden from other departments.
I’ve always said that the best investment you can make is in human capital, but just like any investment, if it isn’t efficiently deployed or lacks investment transparency, the benefit isn’t apparent. With training organizations, it is often very difficult to attach organizational impact to their efforts. As a result, training is seen as a cost center for the organization when it can actually be leveraged as a smart investment. New technology for training operations changes this dynamic and the direct and indirect impact on costs organization-wide are often reflected in financial statements.
Why do you think some enterprises are struggling to benefit from cloud-computing adoption? Skills gap?
There are three main reasons some enterprises still struggle to adopt cloud computing universally.
The first reason would be a lack of skill or vision in architecting the future tech stack of the organization. We are seeing a rapid change with new CTOs coming into place and the return is exponential. With on-premise software, many organizations’ ability to analyze their own data is limited to their ability to extract the data and connect disparate software, which often requires IT to build. With cloud computing, systems integrate quickly and easily requiring little work from internal IT and bringing transparency to organizational data.
The second reason would be that “no one wants to touch it.” On-premise software has to run on decades-old infrastructure that has likely been constructed and added by internal IT. There are fears associated with changing this process such as breaking something critical as well as losing or accessing information. Also, despite an obvious return on investment that will be achieved through such a change, often lies heavy organizational inertia pushing back from employees who have behaviors and operational norms that have existed for years and often decades. This shift not only requires the willingness to change the software and hardware infrastructure, but also in the organization’s management, which is often the reason behind the resistance.
The third reason is the unwillingness of CFOs and their respective departments to take a fresh look at planning and budgeting. Forward-thinking financial executives are actually encouraging this change and are reaping the benefits. More often, value is seen by both the department using the cloud computing software and the finance team on the P&L, eliminating frustrations and driving alignment.
What is cloud-computing adoption doing to corporate budgets and how do you build a business case for it?
Cloud-computing adoption allows for more flexibility and is more cost-effective for corporate budgets. On-premise software requires a large capital expenditure upfront and often in-house IT departments are required to support the software, its deployment, and the infrastructure associated with it. Other drawbacks include being locked into long-term contracts for software that will largely remain unchanged over the life of the contract, long deployments or installs post-purchase, and limiting time to value and return on investment (ROI) for the purchase.
With cloud computing, the software is maintained, supported, and updated by the software company, freeing up IT departments and the associated costs of support. Because cloud-computing software is updated frequently over time, the software stays relevant and often becomes more valuable over time. This can eliminate the need for time-intensive, cyclical evaluation and buying processes every five years which are usually a distraction from the core business. Cloud-computing software is also deployed very quickly allowing for quick time to value.
With cloud-computing adoption, cap-ex moves to op-ex freeing up large amounts of capital upfront to be deployed elsewhere. Often, cloud-computing plans can be modulated over time to tailor to actual usage versus being locked into license agreements that may not be utilized. This reduces risk and ensures a tight relationship between cost and value.
Patrick Flanagan is the CCO of Administrate, an innovative training management platform for enterprise learning and development operations. Serving hundreds of organizations and millions of learners across the globe, Administrate enables training teams to organize, plan, deliver, automate, analyze, and scale enterprise training operations – all from a single system.
Mr. Flanagan holds an MBA from the University of Montana, and prior to Administrate, served in sales and customer leadership roles at various scale-up companies including PFL.
He is passionate about education, teamwork, and building a values-led organization. Learn more at www.getadministrate.com.