Disclosure: Internet Time Group publishes Sam Adkins' research reports.
If analyst Sam Adkins is right, and I believe he is, eLearning in large organizations is morphing into something entirely different from what has gone before.
In a free white paper, Adkins writes that the era of real-time enterprise systems is upon us. Half of the companies in a recent survey reported using real-time data feeds in decision-making. Nearly a third update their analytic databases at least hourly. Open standards enable enterprise silos of ERP, CRM, and SCM to hook together into a single real-time model of work flowing through the value chain.
Wireless technology is being used to extend the enterprise beyond BackOffice and FrontOffice to employees in the field. Workers across vertical industries who do not sit at computers all day are now being connected to enterprise applications via wireless handheld technology.
Adkins maintains that when content is flowing in real time, there's little point in halting work to take a course. Just in time is not soon enough. What's the alternative? Context-specific performance support.
Virtual embedded coaches, wizards, bots and agents are now being used in the real-time workflow. Lombardi's TeamWorks product embeds contextual process coaches inside workflow. PeopleSoft's Intelligent Context Manager functions in a very similar way by proactively prompting workers with task-related information in the context of specific tasks.
Ultimus products contain Flobots that automate task compliance and are embedded directly in Microsoft applications such as Microsoft Word and Excel. Other companies like Teamplate and Nobilis also embed process wizards in productivity applications.
Will business leaders buy into this? Probably so. The case for workflow tools is more compelling than the traditional eLearning package of LMS, objects, courses, etc.
What do you think about this? Elliott Masie recently called Adkins "one of the top learning researchers in the country." Drop me a note or leave a comment telling me how you feel.
Source of quotations:
White paper, ""The Dawn of Workflow-based eLearning"
Source of the research:
The Gravity of the Situation: The Assimilation of eLearning by Enterprise Applications
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