Innovation of Technology and Processes

Innovating enables enterprises to better serve customers and compete.

Yet, Learning Management Systems are typically in place for 7-12 years before they are replaced. Many were originally designed for an era before people began using their smartphones to record videos to teach others everything from how to samba to how to cook a favorite meal to how to fix the clothes dryer.

In a worst case scenario, an old LMS may require the learner to leave their work environment, navigate a separate interface, search a large repository of duplicate courses all with similar names and objectives, select a course, register for the course, get approval to take the course and spend 30 minutes to one or more hours taking a course.

Top competitors rapidly evaluate and embrace innovation beyond learning-specific technology.

Having a depth of both learning and technology expertise helps top competitors in the field of learning to be able to identify emerging technology beyond learning technology that can help optimize the transfer of knowledge, skills and behaviors. They are able to consider, evaluate, implement and benefit from technology far more quickly than their competitors.

Many learning organizations struggled with the technology shift from systems of record to systems of engagement.

Though learning industry communities spoke of the opportunities related to systems of engagement early on, it has taken far longer for most to embrace the technological advances.

What are systems of engagement?

Back in 2011, Geoff Moore described the difference between systems of record and systems of engagement and the collision between those two worlds. Systems of record, “data-centric, operational, reliable and secure”, were coming into conflict with the needs and expectations of 21st century systems of engagement that are “user-experience-centric, provisional, reversible, and open.” (The HBR article by R Wang provides a decent overview of nine common traits of systems of engagement.)

Mobile and social are both examples of delayed adoption of systems of engagement.

In the field of learning, systems of engagement came to the forefront of thinking with the rise of mLearnCon, a mobile learning conference hosted by the eLearning Guide in 2010 (now FocusOn Mobile). The success of Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and other social forums opened the door to social learning platforms that really began taking hold in the 2010. In 2012, ADL introduced the concept of the Learning Record Store (LRS) and the Experience API, an example of learning thinking migrating from systems of record to systems of engagement.

Though there is obvious interest, the adoption of systems of engagement in learning has lagged significantly behind the pace of change in the software development and IT domains.

Mobile technology today makes up just 2.73% of all formal hours of learning delivered, according to ATD’s 2016 State of the Industry report.

Systems of intelligence are now emerging.

As we headed into 2015, Geoff Moore pointed out the value in next generation systems of intelligence that leverage predictive analytics to better predict and serve consumer needs for better outcomes for both the consumer and business with which they are interacting.  (See articles from Mike Wheatley and George Gilbert.)

Systems of intelligence will leverage predictive analytics to provide more intuitive and personalized experiences for learners. Organizations that embrace systems of intelligence will be able to provide a more competitive edge for their workforce and customers.

Dark Learning emphasizes continuous improvement of both technology and processes.