By Glenn Nott
Skillsoft recently conducted a study across 13 countries in Asia Pacific, surveying
more than 650 decision makers and learners from 300 large and medium-sized organizations, to better understand how cloud solutions and big data are driving the industry.
The study—Leveraging the Power of Big Data & the Cloud—found there is considerable eagerness from decision makers and learners to enhance their skills across these critical areas. However, the results reveal employees across the region are not receiving the training they require to take advantage of these solutions.
One of the key takeaways from our study is the clear understanding organizations have about the value these services provide in driving significant business change. However, there is a lack of direction and understanding of how employees can maximize the assets across the business.
For organizations to remain competitive and continue to develop and engage with their workforce, employers need to look at ways they can improve their training offerings around these solutions. In an increasingly tech-savvy workplace, business leaders simply cannot ignore the need for greater training in these next generation solutions.
Leveraging the business advantages of cloud solutions and big data
The study revealed workers have a sound understanding of cloud solutions at a general level, while on the flip side, respondents from both decision maker and learner level demonstrated a poor comprehension of big data. This disconnect is most likely a reflection of the growth we have seen in cloud solution implementation, with over half of businesses reporting they are currently investing in cloud infrastructure.
Businesses need to start looking at cloud solutions and big data as providing more than just operational benefits; they are tools to help provide a competitive edge for organizations. By investing in proper training and education, leaders can ensure employees are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to effectively utilize these solutions within their broader job role.
Looking globally, we are seeing the Asia Pacific region lagging behind the United States and Europe when it comes to successfully adopting cloud and big data solutions. With this lack of training to utilize and maximize innovative technology, companies are at risk of losing their global edge.
However, the great benefit businesses have is the clear desire and enthusiasm from the workforce to receive more training, with more than 70% of learners seeking more learning and development opportunities. To meet this demand, companies should take stock of their existing programs and look at how they can implement more relevant and engaging development tools.
Bridging the skills gap
With 75% of learners advising they are hungry to improve their knowledge and skills, employers have an opportunity to identify where there are current knowledge gaps and provide training which meet both personal and business needs.
Engaging employees with training and development initiatives can be difficult but simply finding what appear to be relevant courses and subject matter is not an effective way of addressing their learning requirements.
By offering learners dynamic and personalized learning experiences, employers can create a flexible and customizable learning process for each individual. Blended learning programs offer a good balance of elearning and traditional classroom training and avoid the mistake of providing a one-size-fits-all approach—which ultimately fails to satisfy anyone.
Investing today for tomorrow
We found the major restriction businesses have in implementing cloud solutions and big data was the availability of adequate budget. Just 21% of decision makers surveyed said they had the available budget to introduce cloud solutions.
Businesses in Asia Pacific have been particularly slow in implementing big data initiatives with 39% of respondents stating they have a plan in place to allocate less than 10% of their budgets to training in the next year. However, business intelligence is ranked as having the greatest benefit of these solutions by 62% of decision makers. This clearly indicates there is a recognized and understood opportunity to utilize data to inform more insightful business decisions.
Implementing training around using big data and cloud solutions is a critical part of getting the most out of your investment in these areas. Learning is the first step and with such a high number of learners seeking further training, business leaders should be considering what they can implement today to help move the business forward and maximize these solutions over the long term.
Glenn Nott is Vice President and General Manager, Asia Pacific at Skillsoft.