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Technology Development – Who’s in Charge?

Posted By: eCom Scotland

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At Learning Technologies 2016 one of the themes was — Who is in charge of technology development? It got me thinking about how the development of Learning Technologies has changed in organisations. 

In the 80’s company boardrooms made development decisions, then tasked departments to come up with the solution to deliver the changes. In the 90’s IT Guru’s came on the scene to advise boards on different approaches but following the bursting of the internet bubble the gurus went into hiding and there was more board scepticism about the next big tech idea. IT departments however continued to develop company infrastructure, advancing the digital footprint in many areas, including organisational learning.

Fast forward to 2016, when board members can be very IT savvy and understand that technology development is critical to business results. This can mean that decisions on solutions can be made higher up, which can be difficult for IT, HR and L&D functions who then have to implement them.

IDG undertook a study which showed just how closely linked IT investments are linked with business results.

In the IDG study, 70% of companies were able to link IT investments to tangible business outcomes. 47% are doing an excellent or very good job at communicating how a particular investment impacted a business outcome.

Towards Maturity in their report ‘Challenging the business leader’ highlights the link between HR and L&D investments with business results.  In the Top Deck of performers 70% report that learning innovation had contributed to a 12% increase in productivity  

With these technology decisions having more and more business impact it is imperative that IT, HR and L&D teams are part of the decision-making loop, so investments are considered from all necessary angles.  Execs need to maintain flexibility so investments can be monitored in the planning stage, rather than in arrears when it is too late for functional heads to influence decisions.

The Ecosystem approach is bringing a new model allowing collaboration and consultation across departments. Business objectives are set and all relevant departments identify what is already available, how suitable the current offering is and the data and integration issues to address the requirements.  

You can read more about the ecosystem approach in our white paper ‘Beyond the Dodo – The learning ecosystem approach that allows companies to thrive’ Click here to download the white paper.

So who is really in charge?  

I would hope in the future we all are, in our own way.  


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