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The Hidden Costs of Poor Digital Infrastructure

Monday, April 17, 2023

The individuals on your team—not the training systems or course materials—are the most valuable resource in L&D. L&D leaders have the diverse skill sets needed to deliver engaging training that creates an exceptional learner experience. Without this high-impact work, the learner experience would suffer, and if organizations fail to engage their learners, they miss key business objectives.

The work of the L&D team drives and supports business growth, but team members are often forced to prioritize low-value work. Pulling reports, managing learner communication, or scheduling resources out of spreadsheets wastes this team’s valuable skills.

Most companies scale L&D by adding various point solutions to address needs as they arise. As things scale in size and complexity, these disconnected systems create inefficient manual processes. Let's look at three problem areas where disconnected learning tech stacks force the team into workarounds and identify how more integrated tech stacks can help.

1. Basic Operations

Tasks such as scheduling training should be simple. But if the learner, instructor, and course data live in different systems, coordination is required during planning. If those systems don't communicate, a human must intervene.

Juggling incompatible systems to do basic operational tasks leads to employees missing key details and making suboptimal decisions. Critical data might be overlooked because it isn't in the immediate system, for example. This is how overbooking and scheduling conflicts are created.

Can your team carry out basic operational tasks like scheduling without referring to multiple disconnected systems? If not, you’re likely investing too much time and ultimately getting poor results.


2. Data Entry

Organizations need certain data points to keep track of learners, instructors, and overall training program details. Disconnected systems mean you’re likely manually inputting data.

The result is that training data is often duplicated or inconsistent. When data must be entered or updated, L&D must locate and update all the datasets. Not only does that duplication waste time, but it also reduces data integrity. Every single manual interaction with data introduces the opportunity for error.

Can data be shared in your digital infrastructure, or is it full of dead ends that require a human to transport data to where it’s needed? The tech stack needs pathways for data to flow smoothly between applications. That reduces the need for manual data entry work and preserves integrity.


3. Reporting

If your reports are incomplete due to missing data points or you’re manually compiling data from multiple systems to generate a comprehensive report, you’ve likely developed a reporting workaround.

How can you get full visibility into your operations if the data you need is hard to access and locked up in incompatible systems? Employees can waste valuable time pulling data out of each system and hoping they didn't miss anything. The result is usually patchy at best—not the deep insights you need.

Data is a potent tool for guiding and directing operations, but it’s best handled at arm’s-length by software. Look at your L&D digital infrastructure. Is it forcing your team to do manual tasks that distract from the strategic value they could bring by delivering better training and learner experiences? If so, reassessing and rebuilding your learning tech stack could unlock new potential.

About the Author

Ross Van Wyk is a seasoned sales professional with experience across many industries. Throughout his career, he has worked with companies at all stages and in diverse industries which provides a depth of knowledge to lean on. He now leads Sales Development and Partnerships at Administrate, a training operations platform.

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