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Cegos learning in the cloud white paper 22.8.11

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My latest paper takes on the latest "buzz" topic - The Cloud.

My latest paper takes on the latest "buzz" topic - The Cloud.

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  • 1. LEARNING AND “ Just like water from the tap in your kitchen,DEVELOPMENT IN THE cloud computing services can be turnedCLOUD – OPPORTUNITIES on or off quickly as needed. Like at theAND WATCH OUTS water company, there is a team of dedicated professionals making sure the service provided is safe, secure and available on a 24/7 basis. When the tap isn’t on, not only are you saving water, but you aren’t paying for resources you don’t currently need. ” Vivek Kundra, Federal Chief Information Officer, The Obama AdministrationJeremy Blain, Director,International Partners Network, Cegos Group 1
  • 2. CONTENTSPage4 OVERVIEW5 1. CLOUD COMPUTING: A DEFINITION7 2. THE IMPACT OF CLOUD COMPUTING ON L&D7 2.1 Mobile, Decentralised & Just in Time Learning8 2.2 A Richer and More Personalised Learning Experience9 2.3 Speed of Implementation9 2.4 Cost Effective/Lower Entry Barriers10 2.5 No More IT Dependence10 2.6 Greater Integration11 3. FORMS OF TRAINING THAT WILL BENEFIT FROM THE CLOUD11 3.1 Mobile Learning11 3.2 Video Content11 3.3 Social Networking & Informal Training12 3.4 Virtual Learning12 3.5 E-Learning13 4. THE CLOUD AND AN ORGANISATION’S CULTURE14 5. THE POTENTIAL THREATS14 5.1 Data Security15 5.2 A Loss of Control?15 5.3 The Future Roles of Managed Service Provider and Training Provider15 5.4 Transition Difficulties © Cegos Group, 2011/2012
  • 3. 16 6. TOP TIPS TOWARDS A CLOUD-BASED L&D STRATEGY16 6.1 Always Keep the Cloud in Mind16 6.2 Don’t be Over Hasty... Don’t Give Up on Processes within the Firewall16 6.3 Never Underestimate the Personal Touch16 6.4 Make Sure you Pass the ‘So What’ Test17 6.5 Commit Resources17 6.6 Give Yourself Room for Manoeuvre18 7. CONCLUSIONS19 8. REFERENCES20 9. ABOUT CEGOS GROUP21 10. ABOUT JEREMY BLAIN © Cegos Group, 2011/2012
  • 4. 1. OVERVIEWThere are few IT developments that have garnered more airtime and newscopy over the last few years than cloud computing.Yet, unlike many of the technology fads that have come and gone, there’sno doubt that cloud computing is changing how we manage and exchangeinformation forever.Recent research by International Data Corporation (IDC) shows that worldwideIT spending on cloud services will grow almost threefold to $44.2 billionby 2013 and almost every industry sector has adopted the cloud into theirbusiness operations.This is very much the case with L&D today with cloud computing offering aunique opportunity to reshape learning as we know it, with implications forhow we deliver learning, how learners receive it, and the content of learning.To date, however, there are few resources L&D professional can go to in orderto gain a comprehensive overview of the potential of cloud computing to L&D,the applications, and the pitfalls to look out for. This is what this white paperintends to achieve.The first starting point is to be clear about what cloud computing meanstoday. 4 © Cegos Group, 2011/2012
  • 5. 1. CLOUD COMPUTING: A DEFINITIONThere are few technological developments that have captured the imagination “! Cloud computing is a model for enablingmore over the last few years than cloud computing – what is considered‘the next great frontier’ in the words of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and convenient, on-a technology that has had the distinction of gracing the front cover of the demand networkEconomist last October (2010). access to a sharedYet, what exactly is cloud computing? The world-renowned industry analysts, pool of configurablethe Gartner Group refer to cloud computing as ‘a style of computing wheremassively scalable, IT-enabled capabilities are delivered as a service to computing resourcesexternal customers using internet technologies’. (e.g., networks, servers,What this means is that applications and data are stored in a central location storage, applications,on the internet and accessed via an internet browser. This location consists and services) that canof multiple servers, forming a part of a digital network, and is based totallyoutside the traditional corporate IT infrastructure. The US-based, National be rapidly provisionedInstitute of Standards and Technology also provides a strong definition (see and released withright). minimal managementEssentially, any computer or Internet friendly device connected to the Internet effort or service providermay access the cloud and the same pool of computing power (although thatinevitably depends on how fast Internet connections are). In the words of a interaction.recent Training Journal article in April 2011, this ‘means you can tap into awealth of infrastructure at the touch of a button without having to managelengthy implementation plans and substantial costs.’It’s the cloud that has spurred on the development of numerous new business ” US-based The National Institute of Standards and Technologyapplications over the last couple of years and now even hardware with newdevices, such as Google’s thin client laptop, the chromebook, which has nointernal memory and is simply a tool for accessing the cloud.In regard to L&D, the main manifestation of cloud computing we have tendedto see is in ‘Software as a Service (SaaS)’, although recently a number ofnew applications and terms have also evolved, such as ‘Infrastructure-as-a-Service’ and ‘Platform-as-a-Service.’SaaS is about delivering a single application from a computer outside thetraditional company IT structure with no required hardware or software toinstall and users tending to pay for the software on a pay as you go basis.Although there are numerous SaaS applications today, perhaps two of thebest known and most established SaaS applications are Salesforce.com andits applications for sales and customer service and Workday which providesa number of its solutions focusing on human capital management and talentmanagement.Cloud computing, however, is often considered to have a broader applicationthan SaaS through the direct targeting of server space rather than simplya specific software application. It means that all a company’s data storage,social networking, software programmes and leaning management systemscan all located outside the company’s IT and servers and can form part of thecloud. Such a system would also be highly scalable, with no data limitations. 5 © Cegos Group, 2011/2012
  • 6. Today, in sectors such as government and financial services, the cloud hasbeen taken up significantly and, according to a study by Forrester Research,a fifth of companies already use solutions from the cloud. In a recent report byAccenture (Rewards and Risks at the Dawn of Cloud Computing (2010), 44%of large organisations are today using cloud computing.Yet, how many of these companies are using the cloud within the L&Dsector? What are its benefits and what are the top tips for a successful cloudimplementation?In this paper, we will look at the potential benefits of cloud computing on L&D,specific learning applications that can benefit from it, the potential threatsto be aware of, and a suggestion of top tips for the implementation of asuccessful cloud-based L&D strategy. 6 © Cegos Group, 2011/2012
  • 7. 2. THE IMPACT OF CLOUD COMPUTING ON L&DIt’s fair to say that in many ways L&D and HR have been at the leading edge “! In taking content outside traditionalof outsourced software services – managed services which are often seenas a precursor to the cloud. Functions, such as payroll, recruitment and learning structures,performance management, have often been coordinated outside a company’s cloud computing ispremises and IT infrastructure. Yet, the emergence and widespread adoptionof cloud computing is likely to take this to a new level. essentially allowing for the delivery of learningThe last few years, for example, has unleashed a host of new cloud-basedand web-based applications relevant to HR and L&D. If you look at the anywhere and atTop 100 Tools for Learning 2010 compiled by the Centre for Learning and anytime.Performance Technologies and based on over 500 learning professionalsubmissions, cloud-based tools, such as Google Docs, Google Reader,Delicious and SlideShare are coming to the fore, with traditional learningtools, such as Word and PowerPoint further down the list (at 22 and 60respectively). ”Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies – Top 100 Tools for Learning20101. Twitter (Microblogging)2. YouTube (Video Sharing)3. Google Docs (Office Collaboration)4. Delicious (Social Bookmarking Tool)5. Slideshare (Hosting Presentations)6. Skype (Instant Messaging/VoIP)7. Google Reader (RSS)8. Wordpress (Blogging Tool)9. Facebook (Social Networking)10. Moodle (Content Management System)11. Google Search (Web Search Tool)12. Prezi (Presentation Software)A full list can be found at http://c4lpt.co.uk/recommended/top100-2010.htmlAll these applications provide a significant break with the traditional learning ofthe past with a move towards more informal, just in time DIY learning.Let’s firstly take a look at the potential benefits to L&D of cloud computing inmore detail.2.1 Mobile, Decentralised & Just in Time LearningWe’ve heard so often over the past few years the need to have more flexiblelearning which aligns itself more closely with the employee’s day to dayactivities and which doesn’t impinge on productivity. Cloud computing enablesthis to happen.In taking content outside traditional learning structures, cloud computing isessentially allowing for the delivery of learning anywhere and at anytime. Nolonger requiring memory intensive laptops and the need to access firewalls,the cloud will enable people to access L&D from any location and from anydevice as long as they have an internet connection. 7 © Cegos Group, 2011/2012
  • 8. This development has the potential to have an enormous impact on mobileand flexible learning, with users able to access e-learning content via a cloud-based learning management system, for example, as and when they needto. As we will discuss in more detail later in this paper, it will enable people to “! ... the emergence of cloud-based trainingaccess learning when they need it, build their learning around their specificneeds, and chimes in perfectly with the highly mobile and cross-cultural solutions, ... provideworkforces so many organisations are advocating. platforms for solutionsIt also fosters a high sense of autonomy for both employees and L&D that can be createddepartments within organisations, with the cloud allowing relevant, tailored in-house, providing acontent to be created for users without any dependence on IT to updatedelivery platforms accordingly. much greater sense of autonomy and2.2 A Richer and More Personalised Learning Experience independence for organisations’ L&DThe open and collaborative nature of the cloud can also enrich thelearning experience opening up the opportunity for more contributions and departments.applications from other people within the learning environment and from withinthe organisation as well as also encouraging an individual dialogue betweentrainer and trainee.With all learning information and modules in a single place, for example, users ”will be able to link content and create a search platform that enables users toestablish preferences and enter specific search criteria in order to generatecustomised results. With the rise of instant messaging, I can also certainlyenvisage a time where online tutors can bring in experts from across theworld to enrich the learning experience – something which would work veryeffectively in a virtual classroom, for example.Furthermore, the emergence of cloud-based training solutions, such asBrainshark and Mindshare, provide platforms for solutions that can be createdin-house, providing a much greater sense of autonomy and independence fororganisations’ L&D departments. This could, for example, usher in a greaterrole for subject matter experts within the organisation and training which ismuch more focused on that company’s business activities rather than more‘off the shelf’ solutions.Finally, the advent of web service providers, such as Live Matrix, whereyou can incorporate live and upcoming scheduled events on the Web, andauthoring tools that are hosted in the cloud will enable your cloud-based L&Dto be more closely aligned with day-to-day developments and issues, andensure that expert knowledge from multiple sources is made available.DIY Learning – BrainsharkBrainshark provides the leading cloud-based software for creating,sharing and tracking online and mobile video presentations. WithBrainshark, you can easily transform static content, such as PowerPoint®documents, into voice-enriched video presentations that can beaccessed anytime, on-demand. You also have access to extensiveviewing details, enabling you to measure the effectiveness and reach ofyour content, so you can follow up accordingly. 8Thousands of companies – including a third of the Fortune 100 – andhundreds of thousands of individuals rely on Brainshark to increase theimpact and reduce the cost of their sales, marketing, training, and HRcommunications. © Cegos Group, 2011/2012
  • 9. “! Another key benefit of cloud computing isLive Matrix is the first guide to live and upcoming scheduled events onthe Web. Live Matrix links to anything that has a start time and can be that it can dramaticallyattended online: audio and video webcasts, live chats, limited-time sales speed up theand auctions, conferences, product launches, games and contests,events in virtual worlds, and much more. implementation of new learning initiatives ...Conceived by two veterans of new media, Nova Spivack and SanjayReddy, Live Matrix organizes the real time Web into three time segments– future, past and present – and enables the birth of the Scheduled Web.It’s the first schedule of “What’s When on the Web.”™ ”2.3 Speed of Implementation and More Time Devoted to Learner NeedsAnother key benefit of cloud computing is that it can dramatically speed upthe implementation of new learning initiatives and can free up more time forthe L&D department to focus on learner needs rather than getting boggeddown in discussions with IT.With the business environment in a constant state of flux, we no longer havethe luxury of months of negotiation with IT and management before a newlearning initiative or platform can be delivered or a new set of e-learningmodules can be incorporated with the existing IT infrastructure.Cloud computing provides organisations with the opportunity of rolling outconstant, on the job training which can build staff skills quickly and efficientlywithout needing to wait for scheduled classroom instruction. The recenttroubles News Corp have found themselves in, for example, could have beenpartly alleviated if senior management had had a quick refresher course incrisis management in the midst of the recent crisis.2.4 Cost Effective and Lowering the Entry BarriersOne of the most exciting things about cloud computing is that it will makehigh quality and innovative training accessible to so many more organisations.In the words of Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com, “the cloud servicescompanies of all sizes…The cloud is for everyone. The cloud is a democracy.”If used correctly, correctly cloud is highly cost effective, enabling L&D budgetsto be more competitive and streamlined and not weighed down with IT costs.In all cases, the organisation will only pay for the server space it uses with thecosts of maintenance and updates normally built in.In this way, the cloud can have a great ‘democratising’ effect on the provisionof L&D today, lowering the entry barriers and opening up sophisticatedlearning applications to SMEs – SMEs who had originally been put off thecosts of additional IT hardware and software.In addition, cloud computing can have an enormous impact on the bottom linethrough reduced costs from training away-days, greater productivity amongthe workforce, and a leveraging of the technology to foster more effective and 9collaborative means of working together. This can be only good news for allemployees and the L&D sector as a whole. © Cegos Group, 2011/2012
  • 10. 2.5 No More IT Department DependenceA running theme of all these benefits is the new freedom from the ITdepartment and it’s important to address this as a key benefit in its own rightas well. !Traditionally, IT worked side-by-side with the learning organisation, creating THE IMPACTplatforms and applications that delivered information and training. While on OF CLOUDoccasions, this has been a harmonious relationship, few could deny that thishas been a source of frustration as well, with delays, roadblocks and simply a COMPUTINGlack of priority given to L&D by an already overstretched IT department. ON L&DThe cloud has the potential to change all this, enabling L&D departments to Mobile, Decentralised &bypass IT for the first time – something that IT departments will probably be Just in Time Learning.grateful for as well! A Richer & More2.6 Greater Integration Personalised Learning Experience.Too often, in the past, there has been a fragmentation between differentL&D and HR-based systems, whether they are talent management systems, Speed of Implementationperformance management systems, recruitment, learning management & More Time Devoted tosystems or training strategies. With a common data platform, the cloud offers Learner Needs.a unique opportunity for greater integration and standard methods of dataexchange. Cost Effective & Lowering the Entry Barriers. No More IT Dependence. Greater Integration. 10 © Cegos Group, 2011/2012
  • 11. 3. WHAT FORMS OF TRAINING WILL BENEFIT FROM THE CLOUD? “! Our survey of European learners ... found aWe’ve now seen some of the significant potential benefits that L&D can gainfrom the cloud today. Let’s take a look at how cloud computing can benefit preference for shortersome specific learning applications. face-to-face training courses with two days3.1 Mobile Learning being away from theMobile learning, for example, has seen considerable growth over the last office considered thefew years. The Cegos survey in May 2011, for example, showed that mobile optimum length aslearning has now been adopted in 21% of organisations across Europe. opposed to the week-Just as the proliferation of hardware, such as smart phones and tablet long training courses ofcomputers are facilitating this growth, so is cloud computing, enabling alarge variety of mobile learning activities to take part outside the firewall with the past.employees calling down the information as and when they need it.With memory and firewalls no longer issues, cloud computing should make itthat much easier to access learning applications from any device and makelearning that much more immediate. Furthermore, there are also compelling ”economic arguments for cloud-based mobile learning with no expensiveproprietary tools and data storage and computing power issues.3.2 Video ContentThe cloud is also likely to prove a major enable for video learning contentwhich has often proved too expensive and memory intensive to be developedinternally.The cloud will provide the bandwidth for streaming and storing video contentwith delivery applications, such as YouTube and Brainshark (see separatebox), likely to become increasingly popular. This information can then beaccessed in the field or when it is most needed – if a sales executive requiresa few refresher sales tips, for example, just before going into an importantmeeting.Furthermore, the rise of Internet TV is also likely to play perfectly with cloudcomputing, allowing the learner or L&D department to broadcast live or recorditems as if they had their own television channel.3.3 Social Networks & Informal TrainingThe rise of informal networks and internet and social networking tools, whichprovide the key medium for the dissemination of information, is based onopen communities, collaboration, cross-country and cross-company networksand the sharing of knowledge information. This philosophy fits closely with themain elements behind cloud computing with L&D operating outside the firewalland making it much easier to integrate social networking into L&D strategiesthrough existing web applications, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.Furthermore, providers, such as Yammer (www.yammer.com), who provideprivate, cloud-based micro blogging sites, are playing a crucial role inintegrating social networking and the cloud within a structured, environment. 11In these environments, employees can collaborate with co-workers in real-time, share information about their work, link to articles of interest, askquestions, and even create external networks to communicate with partners. © Cegos Group, 2011/2012
  • 12. “! Nationwide’s Yammer site grew to over 8500Based in Columbus, Ohio, Nationwide has grown over the last 80years from a small mutual auto insurer to one of the largest insurance associates and agentsand financial services companies in the world, with more than $135 in under 10 monthsbillion in statutory assets. Nationwide chose Yammer as its primarycommunication channel in its push toward flattened hierarchy and better and more importantly,management. The network grew quickly, with adoption from the full it got more than 40%spectrum of employees, salespeople to executives. Now, knowledgeisn’t siloed into specific regions or department and associates and of the company’s topexecutives are more connected with a better flow of ideas. leadership into the Nationwide Social3.4 Virtual Learning Network.Cloud computing is also set to have a major impact on virtual learning in thefuture.Cloud computing, for example, can be used to create a flexible classroomenvironment accessible to instructors and students over the Internet with ” Srinivas Koushik, Chief Technology Officer, Nationwidecloud-led training going directly to people’s computers. Other deliverymethods, such as e-learning and serious games, will all benefitIn the 2011 Corporate Factbook by Bersin Associates, it was noted that“over the past two years, more companies have turned to virtual classroominstruction”, and yet “transition is not always an easy one, as organisationsoften find it difficult to attain a truly interactive and engaging experience with agroup of remote, widely dispersed learners.” Cloud-computing should addressthese transition difficulties.3.5 E-LearningCloud computing will also have important applications for the deploymentand effectiveness of e-learning modules. For example, all supporting modulematerials can be stored in the cloud as can all record keeping and logindetails. There are also no scalability issues; availability is 24/7; and there areincreased options for design, such as more simulation.Whether it be sharing videos and documents, participating in a virtualclassroom or engaging in e-learning tools using cloud-based applications,cloud computing helps improve the ways companies can support their peopleby bringing together a plethora of different learning methods onto a singleplatform and ensuring the integration of formal and informal learning. 12 © Cegos Group, 2011/2012
  • 13. 4. THE CLOUD AND AN ORGANISATION’S CULTUREIt’s my view, however, that not only can cloud computing have a significantimpact on L&D, it also has the potential to dramatically transform company “! ... take advantage of cloud computing tocultures today, particularly in regard to the delivery of information. run leaner, more agileHow? The cloud allows organisations to be no longer dependent on their operations and expandIT departments and corporate bureaucracies. What this means is that itenables individuals to access information and specific technologies wherever their businesses.and whenever they need it. In this way, it is a strongly democratic anddecentralized approach to existing company values with employees no longerdependent on the internal IT department deciding that their line of business isa priority. ”This change in company values is well illustrated in the world of softwaredevelopers who have traditionally broken away from narrow companyconfinements to deliver software through self-organising, collaborative andcross-functional teams. The values they came up with were formalised in TheAgile Manifesto. The illustration on this page shows how the Agile Manifestovalues:• Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.• Collaborative technology over documentation• Collaboration with the customer – the end user – over contract negotiations; and• The ability to respond to change rather than adhering rigidly to an existing plan.While initially developed for the world of software developers, this approachand these values can have a significant impact on the company culture andL&D today as well. Individuals and Interactions over Processes and Tools Leveraging Collaborative over Comprehensive Documentation Technology Customer Collaboration over Contract Negotiation Responding to Change over Following a Plan/Existing PathIn the words of Accenture and their recent report, already cited in this paper,executives will “take advantage of cloud computing to run leaner, more agileoperations and expand their businesses. And while not every company canbe a leader in providing cloud services like Google, Amazon or Apple, cloudswill undoubtedly change not just companies but entire industries as executivesbetter understand how they can use this powerful technology.”And the same report found that 60% of executives think that “speed, flexibilityand responsiveness will be one of the cloud’s greatest benefits to their 13organisation over the next five years.” © Cegos Group, 2011/2012
  • 14. 5. THE POTENTIAL THREATSSo far, in this paper, we have just looked at the potential benefits andapplications of cloud computing. With all emerging technologies, however, “! Probably the single biggest issue holdingthere are always issues to be aware of. This section will look at some of these. back cloud computing today is that of data5.1 Data Security security.Probably the single biggest issue holding back cloud computing today isthat of data security. The very nature of cloud computing and SaaS is thatinformation is stored online outside company firewalls and protection networkswith potentially highly confidential information at risk. In addition, it is also thatrisk of entering the unknown that makes organisations concerned about the ”security issues.However, just as external providers have been privy to confidential HRinformation in the past, cloud vendors are acutely aware of perceivedconcerns and are continuing to bolster security measures. Organisations,such as the Cloud Security Alliance, have also developed a CSA Certificate ofCloud Security Knowledge (CCSK) to ensure best practices are shared amongproviders and to help users make their selections.There is also a lot that can be done internally to strengthen security. Forexample, it is important to ensure that security is a key element of anycontract or service level agreement with a cloud-based service provider andthat you – the user – are aware of their security policies (see questions to askin separate box).Many of the same physical assets of a company’s internal IT infrastructure,such as firewalls, can also be applied in the cloud environment and a numberof companies are also maintaining an internal cloud using virtual infrastructurefor what they consider to be business critical processes. Assigning value tospecific assets can also help you in formulating your security policy.Top Security Questions to Ask Your Cloud Service Provider1. How will you be managing my data?2. Is my data encrypted?3. What recent external audits have been conducted?4. What back-up and recovery measures do you have in place? Where will my data be replicated to if your primary data centre suffers an outage?5. Where is my data being hold? In what jurisdictions, for example?6. What’s the level of physical security in your facilities?7. How will you deliver your agreed service levels? It’s all very well saying that your service will have 99.9999% uptime but how can you back this up?8. What happens if something goes wrong? What support will I receive?9. Can you isolate my virtual machines from those of other customers? Is there a danger of infections from other customers? How am I protected?10. How can I ensure global consistency if I’m using other cloud providers as well?Just as shopping and using credit card details online was greeted withconsiderable scepticism a few years ago, security will only improve over the 14coming years with greater levels of reassurance. © Cegos Group, 2011/2012
  • 15. 5.2 A Loss of Control?These concerns over data security are also linked to a perceived lack ofcontrol over L&D. “! The advent of the cloud has potential to blur theWhile a certain a degree of autonomy and personalisation is considered relationship betweento be a good thing in L&D today, this should not be at the expense of L&D the L&D departmentrelinquishing control over the general framework of L&D and ushering in apotential L&D ‘free for all’. Cloud computing, as for any L&D development, and external trainingneeds to be managed. or managed service providers.5.3 The Future Roles of Managed Service Provider and Training ProviderThe advent of the cloud has potential to blur the relationship between the L&D ”department and external training or managed service providers.While many such organisations are adapting and evolving their products tosupport cloud computing (as Cegos is doing) and while organisations willstill need external providers to generate content for e-learning modules, forexample, it’s clear that the boundaries of the relationship are likely to change.In these instances, it’s important that such transitions are handled carefully toavoid jeopardising relationships that, in many cases, have been built up overyears.5.4 Transition DifficultiesThis plays in to more general concerns over the transition to the cloud withsome tips to managing a cloud-based strategy addressed in section six.What is clear is that it is important not to follow the path of cloud computing atthe expense of existing processes which have often been built up over years.It’s also important to ensure that training efficiencies aren’t affected as thetransition takes place and people adapt to changing processes. 15 © Cegos Group, 2011/2012
  • 16. 6. TOP TIPS TOWARDS A CLOUD-BASED L&D STRATEGYIn this paper, we have examined the potential benefits of cloud computingto L&D and the enormous effect it can have on the organisation as a whole. “! What you want to avoid is having a fragmentedYet, what is the difference between a successful and failed cloud deployment.In this final section, we look at a number of tips towards a successful cloud- strategy where somebased strategy in L&D. applications are cloud- based and others aren’t ...6.1 Always Keep the Cloud in MindOnce you have made that decision to embrace cloud computing, it’simportant that every L&D-based decision is assessed in a cloud-computingcontext. ”In some instances, you might decide to keep some systems in-house, it’simportant, however, that you keep the cloud in mind for any new piece ofL&D software you launch. What you want to avoid is having a fragmentedstrategy where some applications are cloud-based and others aren’t without astrategic reason for this.6.2 Don’t be Over Hasty... Don’t Give Up on Processes within the FirewallIt’s important to understand that cloud-based L&D is about the delivery ofnew L&D services rather than simply the replacement of existing ones. It’simportant to still keep faith with many of the L&D services that are oftenoperating very effectively within the firewall rather than placing your entirefuture L&D strategy on the failure or success of the cloud. This being said,however, there’s no reason why many of your internal L&D processes can’t betransferred to the cloud.6.3 Never Underestimate the Personal TouchIt’s often easy to get dazzled by the latest technologies but this should neverhappen at the expense of the personal touch in L&D today. Cloud-computingcan only really work if individuals are actively involved in the process, makingthose important decisions as to how to manage the transition and fostercollaboration – through the creation of forums, for example.6.4 Make Sure you Pass the ‘So What’ TestIt’s important to not get so caught up by the latest cloud-based applicationsthat you end up following the latest ‘fad’ at the expense of a longer termstrategy.It’s very important that every cloud-based applications incorporated into yourL&D processes passes the ‘so what’ test. What use can my organisationmake of this feature? How can it improve the performance of my employees?etc.. 16 © Cegos Group, 2011/2012
  • 17. 6.5 Commit ResourcesIt’s also important to commit the appropriate resources to any company-widetransition to cloud-based L&D. Don’t allow everything to grind to a standstillas you start to deploy some applications on the cloud with a subsequent !effect on training efficiencies. Don’t simply see transition to the cloud as animmediate cost savings measure. TOP TIPS TO A SUCCESSFUL6.6 Give Yourself Room for Manoeuvre CLOUD-BASED STRATEGYIt’s also important to give yourself maximum flexibility when choosing a cloudsolutions vendor. What can I do if the platform doesn’t live up to expectations Always keep the cloud inand how easily can I migrate? How easy will it be to transfer the information mind.and how much will it cost? You need to continue to have flexibility in your L&Doperations. Don’t be overhasty. Never underestimate the personal touch. Make sure you pass the so what test. Commit resources. Give yourself room for manoeuvre. 17 © Cegos Group, 2011/2012
  • 18. 7. CONCLUSIONSThere’s little doubt that cloud computing has the potential to have a hugeimpact on L&D over the next few years – probably more so than anytechnology innovation that has come previously.Cloud computing offers learning organisations an opportunity to create,implement and deliver user-specific applications anytime, anywhere and itenables users to have much greater input into their training paths. Whileconcerns remain as to its implementation, it’s clear to me that the hugepotential of the cloud has already been unleashed, delivering training moreefficiently and effectively than ever before. 18 © Cegos Group, 2011/2012
  • 19. 8. REFERENCESAccenture Cloudrise: Rewards and Risks at the Dawn of Cloud Computing(2010)Agile Manifesto, www.agilemanifesto.orgBrainshark, www.brainshark.comCegos Group Survey, May 2010 www.cegos.comCentre for Learning & Performance Technologies, www.c4lpt.co.ukCloud Security Alliance, https://cloudsecurityalliance.orgCorporate Learning Factbook 2011, Bersin & Associates www.bersin.comForrester Research, www.forrester.comInternational Data Corporation, IT Cloud Services Forecast 2009-2013,www.idc.comLive Matrix, www.livematrix.comMindshare, www.mindshareworld.comThe National Institute of Standards and Technology, www.nist.govSalesforce.com, www.salesforce.comTraining Journal, www.trainingjournal.comWorkday, www.workday.comYammer, www.yammer.com 19 © Cegos Group, 2011/2012
  • 20. 9. ABOUT CEGOS GROUPCegos Group, established in 1926 is today the European leader in professionaleducation and one of the major global players. Its consultants have expertiseacross all subject areas in management and developing competencies: humanresources, management and leadership, performance and organisationalskills, individual and team performance, marketing and commercial, projectmanagement, deployment of large training systems internationally.In 2010, Cegos Group achieved sales of 180 M€ and trained more than200,000 staff in Europe and internationally. Cegos employs 1,200 consultantsand works in 30 countries across the globe.www.cegos.comwww.elearning-cegos.comwww.global-learning-cegos.comFor more details, debate or discussion, please contact: jeremy.blain@cegos.co.uk or + 44 (0)7714 521045 20 © Cegos Group, 2011/2012
  • 21. 10. ABOUT JEREMY BLAINJeremy Blain is a Director of Cegos SA, and is responsible for Cegos’ strategyfor international expansion through a value adding Global Distribution PartnersNetwork.An L&D entrepreneur responsible for growing Cegos’ business worldwidethrough a network of distribution partners, Jeremy has 10 years experiencein the industry as a managing director, partner, trainer, coach and programmeauthor. In previous roles at Procter and Gamble, Pepsico and as CEO of hisown business, Jeremy’s background includes marketing, sales, operationsand account management.Jeremy is a frequent international conference speaker and mediacommentator on topics related to the global L&D market. Themes include: theintegration of emerging and informal learning technologies; the importanceof performance measurement and proving ROI; developing ‘core’ leadership,management and commercial skills to achieve competitive businessadvantage; and change management and how to implement successfulinternational training strategies.For more details, debate or discussion, you can find Jeremy on LinkedInhttp://uk.linkedin.com/in/jeremyblain and also on Twitter at http://twitter.com/learntheplanetJeremy has also published a series of white papers on issues relevant to L&D.These are still current and available, and include:• Cegos/ASTD global learning trends research: A comparison between what is happening among learners today and the perceptions of learning professionals, July 2011• ‘Training Today, Training Tomorrow - An Analysis of Learning Trends Across Europe and Global Comparisons’, May 2011.• Helping to Make an Impact’, May 2011• ‘The Rise of Virtual Learning’, April 2011• ‘What has L&D Learned from the Economic Slowdown’, March 2011• ‘Informal Networks – How They Are Changing the World of Work’, December 2010• ‘Exploring and Interpreting the Most Important Learning Trends across the Globe’, May 2010 21 © Cegos Group, 2011/2012