How Cloud Computing is Changing Workplace Learning

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Enterprise learning organizations have been enthusiastically adopting cloud tech.

Cloud computing is becoming a powerful agent of transformative change when it comes to workplace learning.

Cloud computing is kind of like flipping on a light switch—the switch is flipped and the power company sends electricity, except instead of the power company it’s a cloud computing service provider, and instead of electrical power they’re sending IT resources via the Internet on an as-needed basis. Adoption of cloud computing technology is skyrocketing. According to global market intelligence firm IDC, global spending on public cloud computing will hit $162 billion USD in 2020, an increase from $67 billion in 2015 USD.

“Instead of buying, owning and maintaining their own data centers and servers, organizations like enterprise companies and government agencies can acquire technology such as compute power, storage, databases, and other services securely and on an as-needed basis,” says Andrew Ko, Director of Amazon Web Services, Public Sector. “The cloud really offers amazing benefits whether you are a large enterprise or a small liberal arts college.”

Enterprise learning organizations have been enthusiastically adopting cloud tech, often investing in cloud-based SaaS providers to upgrade their workplace learning and development programs, or directly moving their infrastructure to the cloud. According to IDG’s Enterprise Cloud Computing Survey, cloud technology is becoming a staple of organizations’ infrastructure as 70% have at least one application in the cloud.

Here are five ways that enterprise learning organizations are using cloud computing to change employee learning and development:

Accessibility: The cloud is always on. Cloud computing allows users to access learning and course content, data, and applications, and take actions like enrolling in courses and participating in group activities anywhere and at any time. The cloud lets learning take place at all times, which is increasingly important in a world of learning that’s more and more mobile.

Cost savings: Cloud computing lets learning organizations pay for IT as they consume it. It also helps to lower management costs, streamline learning delivery by maintaining learning applications and courseware and make processes like course and training enrollment and assignment tracking much more efficient. By allowing learning organizations to focus less on administrative and managerial tasks, cloud computing frees up resources so they can focus more on the needs of the learner.

Scalability: With the capacity the cloud can provide, learning organizations can easily and instantly scale up applications and experiences to accommodate increasing learner populations, usage peaks resulting from large volumes of database queries, or massive spikes in traffic due to things like an event, course or training registration. They can also instantly scale down to accommodate periods of low activity and avoid having to maintain idle systems.

Agility: Cloud computing gives learning organizations the ability to experiment and innovate faster and more frequently to create more engaging experiences for learners. That includes using vast cloud-based infrastructures to quickly develop, test and deliver new application features and educational tools to transform learning experiences that meet ever-changing learner needs.

Data storage, analysis, and security: Cloud-based platforms offer an infrastructure that includes a consistent data security experience anywhere they’re deployed, effectively maintaining the integrity of learner data privacy. They also often offer tools, best practices, and recommendations that can cover all a learning organization’s security needs.

Learn how your IT department can help you adapt to a changing workforce

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