How IT Trends Affect the Training Industry (Us!)
Ellen Schuurink / 26 August 2016
Which training trends are happening? Which ones seem promising? Which trends require training? What type of training is required? Should we develop courseware? Is this the right time? These are just some of the questions we ask ourselves as the ITpreneurs R&D team. But besides just developing courseware for those trends, do these trends actually impact the way we work? Let’s find out.
All You Can Eat Pizza
If you have ever worked in a restaurant, you will know the perks of working in a food rich environment. For example working in a Pizza place, you can eat all the pizza you want, mix toppings and make your own special one. The same applies for working at ITpreneurs (or in the training industry in general). We can study, learn and get certified ourselves in any of the topics we offer in our library. But with so many trends coming by it’s impossible to adopt all of them.
We use trends to keep up with the latest tools, techniques, methods and best practices. Where most of our courseware topics impact the IT teams (e.g our platforms team), we also challenge our courseware development team to implement some of the trends and best practices. And even our marketing team uses Kanban boards to organize their work and campaigns. In other words, we try to adopt the latest trends in our practices.
PMI-PMP provides me as a practitioner, a clear guidance on the tasks and techniques of requirements development and management. The PMP certification helped me in collaborating the knowledge of the fundamentals of project management as they apply to a wide range of projects. Adaptation and practicing the gained knowledge gave me the essential tools to practice project management and deliver organizational results.
Aparna Chugh, Team Manager Portfolio Enhancement, ITpreneurs
Trend 1: Cloud
As founding partner of the Cloud Credential Council, ITpreneurs believes in the cloud. For many millennials, the cloud is nothing new or fancy, but completely part of their daily life. Course authors, partners, website visitors, in many interactions with us, you will have experienced (unconsciously) our cloud systems. We see ourselves as cloud compliant: we don’t just host in the cloud, we design our solutions for the cloud. (Here’s an interview about developing in the cloud)
In the near future you will experience more of our cloud solutions as we are working on several tools that will allow us to offer new services or automate existing ones. For example, we are starting a pilot on iVoucher management soon. The iVoucher system will show the status of the exam vouchers and let you redeem vouchers, in order to book exams directly in the system. On the automation part we are building integrations that allow you to order, print and ship the course books with a few clicks. No manual interaction, no mistakes and faster deliveries.
Trend 2: DevOps (Agile, Lean, Kaizen)
ITpreneurs is a true believer in DevOps. While we recognize that not all organizations can go full speed DevOps, we are rapidly expanding our portfolio in this area and are adopting DevOps principles in our own organization as well. Some tools and principles are relatively easy to adopt, like Kanban Boards (we are fan of Trello), other steps in becoming a lean organization require organizational changes. Partners have experienced some of these organizational changes (with the accompanying hiccups), for example the Customer Service Team was installed and the 24/7 technical support from our Service.
I always use the ITpreneurs instructor and training materials to prepare myself for the various exams. It recently helped me pass the The DASA DevOps Fundamentals exam with 98%. This gives me the confidence I am ready to deliver this course!
Marcel Foederer, Master Trainer
As in any organization the role of incidents and problems are affecting the balance of control and innovation. If there are too many problems, there is no time to work on new stuff. In order to create (enough) time for innovation, we apply two (DevOps) principles: quality at the source and continuous improvement. The Kepner-Tregoe (KT) methodology helps in resolving problems in a structured and effective method. Here’s a nice blog about how NASA brought back Apollo XIII using KT.
I noticed that after the Kepner-Tregoe Foundation training I am more aware on what and how to ask for information, to receive the input that I need. In my role as Application Manager it is important to quickly analyze any issue and asking the correct questions is key.
Sabrina van der Heijden, Application Manager
Trend 3: Customer Experience
The final trend I would like to discuss is customer experience. As there are trends within the customer experience concept (see this blog by Appirio), I would like to discuss two sub-trends: co-branding and self-service.
For many years ITpreneurs offers co-branding: basically adding your logo to printed courseware and/or have a branded environment where learners access their eBooks and eLearning. We are working on solutions to bring this to the next level. With many systems and apps we are used to making changes to the user interface based on our personal settings. Who does not change the wallpaper on the computer or has their favorite apps on the homescreen of their Smart Phone? Business applications are (slowly) moving in this direction and we follow this trend. More to expected in 2017.
The self-service trend can be a win-win situation. Where you might be depended on people to make your booking, change your booking or answer any questions, systems can do some of this work. The role of the people will change and they will become specialist to help resolve the items the system did not allow you to do. Although automation seems like de-humanizing the organization, the human interaction actually becomes more important as the more complex questions can not be answered by the system.
With the development of self-service tools, the customer experience is not only dealt with by the service teams, but entering the core of the organization. Platforms, marketing and service teams work closely to ensure that ITpreneurs partners will get the best service, now and in the future.
Being HDI (HDI-CSR) certified, it helps me to improve my leadership quality in terms of taking initiative at work, motivating people time to time and applying the new skills (Leadership, People Management and Process & Procedures) in my day to day routine.
Jitender Batra, Customer Service Representative
The HDI-CSR course helped me in accessing customer business needs and their behaviour. Secondly, the techniques and processes mentioned in the course helped me in enhancing my critical thinking skills which now further help me in solving queries quickly and consistently. This helps me to achieve and exceed customer satisfaction.
Yash Goyal, Customer Service Representative
Implementing a methodology is not a quick fix. It takes time and required dedication from people. It also requires a good analysis, not all trends or best practices fit your organization. Try to get the most out of all trends, and as a minimum get inspired and dare to make any changes. Consider that failing 100 times that costs €1 gives you more space to experiment than failing 1 time for €100.