As companies grow and expand across international borders, new logistical challenges arise when it comes to training and job skills development. The more employees you have working across different offices, the more difficult it is to create and maintain consistent standards in key areas such as employee knowledge, best practices, training protocols, and strategies for customer interaction.
Fortunately, recent years have seen developments made across technological fields from mobile to web, even as far as virtual reality, each of which provides employers and HR managers new tools to effectively develop, manage, and administer corporate training to employees on a global scale.
The days of complicated network issues and clunky obtrusive file sharing across hard drives are coming to a close, thanks to recent developments in the field of cloud-based software. The cloud is a service that stores data online on servers, rather than locally on individual machines. This data can then be accessed anywhere in the world by anyone from any computer, as long as the person has access to the server.
Consumer-facing cloud services like Dropbox have been around for a while now, and a recent report from Bloomberg.com predicted that the value of these services for businesses will increase greatly, citing cloud-based software company Envestment’s five-fold value increase after going public. Implementing cloud-based software would enable companies to effortlessly share data to be widely disseminated, while reducing the need for on-site servers or other complicated IT solutions.
Gamification, or the process of adding game-like elements such as score, points, and leaderboards to non-game tasks, is currently exploding across educational and institutional spaces. A prediction from Gartner analyst Brian Burke sees gamified systems integrated in some way into 70 percent of Global 2,000 organizations by this year, SmartInsights.com reported. Despite its unconventional approach, gamification has been adopted everywhere from children’s classrooms to corporate training, and spaces in between.
This isn’t just novelty; gamification efforts have real and measurable benefits which have been documented by the Smithsonian Science Education Center. Not only does this kind of learning increase user engagement and lend itself to better retention, but combining gamified programs and apps with devices like tablets and other forms of mobile learning allows for decentralized learning. No longer do students and users all have to be together in one room to learn—perfect for standardizing corporate training across many offices.
Though it may sound like something out of a science fiction movie, virtual reality (VR) is a burgeoning field that is seeing incredibly rapid advancements in recent months. With Facebook’s recent acquisition of the development team behind Oculus Rift, the most prominent and well-developed VR technology to date, it’s only sensible to expect that development to continue. While the technology itself is still too nascent for more than speculative conjecture regarding potential future applications, futurists and tech developers already have big plans for VR.
“Imagine enjoying a courtside seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face—just by putting on goggles in your home,” wrote Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook shortly after the announcement of the acquisition, Businessweek reported.
Global learning is quickly becoming the standard that developers of new technology aspire to achieve. More and more technologies are developed with an eye to connecting users regardless of where they are around the globe. In an increasingly globalized marketplace, this promises some very exciting opportunities for companies in the near future.