We’ve seen a number of innovative and exciting new technologies implemented in businesses over the past few years, including AI, machine learning, robotics, DevOps, Cloud technologies, and a wide range of open source software solutions. All of these provide sizeable benefits for companies willing to engage in wide-scale digital transformation, as they offer the opportunity to bolster efficiency, cut costs, and create higher quality products and services. However, while these rapid advancements have tremendous potential for improving business operations, it also necessitates a workforce that is “increasingly more intelligent, aware and understanding of the progressions being made.” This in turn requires a greater investment towards training and educating employees on the latest technological developments, which comes with its fair share of challenges.
For one, training is often time-consuming and expensive, with on-site training being particularly costly. Additionally, some employers are hesitant to train their workforce too thoroughly, as they fear that comprehensive training in high value skills will better position them to leave in search of a more profitable position elsewhere. Even if training is provided, it is too often far too short (around an hour or two) and limited in scope. With a recent survey conducted by TalentLMS showing that many employees are not even taught valuable soft skills or given the opportunity to learn about their company’s culture, it is little surprise that they rarely have the knowledge base to effectively use new technologies and keep up with various development and testing software.
Most of these failings come from a lack of understanding the long-term benefits that it can offer both employees and employers alike. When employees are provided with optimal training opportunities, not only does it improve their productivity and overall ability to contribute to company projects, but it also helps to boost their morale and connection to the company. The reason that quality training doesn’t typically lead to employee’s leaving for “greener pastures” is because when it is done well, it is a collaborative process where everyone involved is a peer, which builds camaraderie and company loyalty.
Thankfully, while the technologies that employees are learning to use are becoming more and more complex, the steps to get them trained and educated are instead becoming simpler and more accessible than ever before. There are a wide range of affordable online training options, including Coursera or Udemy. These can cover a number of topics, from machine learning to data analytics, all while allowing employees to learn during their off hours or the weekends. Furthermore, due to the current COVID-19 crisis, many of these services and tools are temporarily being made free, making now an excellent time to learn these valuable new skills.
Along with these improvements to accessibility, we’re also seeing a push towards more open source software and frameworks, which makes companies’ digital transformation efforts that much more effective and efficient. Companies now encourage employees to look for more open source software to reduce upfront licensing costs, and many IT-centric businesses are no longer dominated by expensive software from big companies like IBM and Microsoft. On top of this, a recent report from Google found that their open source framework could reduce costs by up to 80%, allowing smaller startups to compete alongside larger companies.
2020 has already been a challenging year for many businesses, but by investing in employee training and technology education, companies can mitigate the challenges ahead and support the needs of both employees and employers.
Shashi has more than 20 years of experience in the software industry with experience in Big 5 consulting, public sector, and financial industries. Shashi has helped Navitas win several new accounts by providing strategic technology and consulting expertise in Scaled Agile, DevSecOps, Cloud and Big Data analytics.