One thing is for certain: the mobile revolution has arrived, and it shows no sign of slowing down. Between smartphones, laptops, tablets, portable gaming devices, and other gadgets, people have become increasingly connected and are able to communicate with each other from anytime and anyplace. As a result, mobile learning is quickly moving to the core of many business growth strategies.
The potential for learning via wireless technology is considerable. In fact, mobile training technologies may be able to resolve many of the problems that are hindering a company’s growth and expansion. A new report by Ambient Insight revealed that the global market for mobile learning products and services reached $5.3 billion in 2012— and with a projected compound annual growth rate of 18.2 percent, that figure is expected to double and reach $12.2 billion by 2017. Mobile devices are quickly replacing PCs as the chosen mediums for accessing the Internet, so businesses that accommodate this preference may be able to boost productivity. BusinessNewsDaily noted that nearly three-quarters of workers are active online, and that employers can leverage this tendency to facilitate collaboration, enhance employees’ skill sets, and fulfill global training demands.
As businesses look to adapt more quickly, particularly in the face of globalization, mobile learning may be the key to gaining a competitive advantage.
A Moving Workforce Requires Mobile Content
As mobile learning is still a relatively new and evolving development, there is immense room for improvement. According to Training magazine, a survey by Brandon Hall Group found that while 73 percent of organizations are currently providing learning via mobile devices, 42 percent of them allow limited access to that content through a Web browser. While some firms may be skeptical about the significance of mobile learning, the benefits are clear. Brandon Hall Group’s research determined that higher-performing companies with increased revenues are doing more with mobile learning than their less successful counterparts. In fact, these studies revealed that all of the high-performing firms are delivering some form of mobile learning, particularly apps and learning management system platforms. These top performers are also 30 percent more likely to make the majority of their learning videos, assessments, and performance support modules available on mobile devices.
In an increasingly global and complex business environment, mobile learning solutions can streamline the process by which international staff members absorb information by giving them easier access to educational and training materials. Not only that, but mobile learning presents a chance to reduce lost productivity as well as money, as these solutions can break down geographical challenges and minimize the amount of time that employees need to spend away from their jobs.
BusinessNewsDaily noted that mobile training programs are also beneficial because they allow for centralized quality control, regardless of an employee’s location. Especially for companies that have a high turnover rate or that have offices across the globe, it’s crucial to maintain a certain level of consistency to ensure success.
Additionally, the news source pointed out that the convenience of mobile learning enables employees to get up to speed more quickly, as they can take courses and tests from anywhere and at any time. As all staff members have different lifestyle demands and unique learning styles, mobile programs can accommodate these varying needs by enabling them to retain content on their own schedule and at their own pace. As corporations look to leverage the experience of a larger talent pool, mobile training can enable them to hire employees from all over the world while overcoming obstacles in the onboarding process.
How to Move Forward
The rewards that come with embracing mobile training are clear—and now the only question is how to reap them. Kirsty Chadwick, founder and chair of The Training Room Online, told ITWeb that it’s crucial for businesses to have a concrete plan in place before adopting these initiatives to ensure success.
“You will need to determine why mobile learning will be beneficial for your organization and make sure that you are aware of the changes that would need to take place in order to incorporate it into your business,” Chadwick explained to the source.
First, she emphasized that companies should determine if there are any specific issues within the organization that mobile learning might be able to address. For example, is the business facing international expansion? In that case, offering language-learning programs could be a key aspect of making that market expansion strategy possible. Or, if international employees have limited resources, mobile learning may be the answer because it provides the ability to ensure those staff members are granted adequate training materials.
Next, Chadwick stressed that firms should consider financial restrictions and technological requirements. For most firms, it’s not feasible to develop a customized mobile learning app, which is why it can be useful to leverage existing solutions. Once a thorough plan is in place for integrating mobile learning, a business should also develop a method for measuring the effectiveness of these programs.