Tech Headlines for June 2014
Friday, June 6, 2014

Raytheon Study Confirms Learning Tech Has Positive Impact

Raytheon Professional Services (RPS) recently released results and analysis from a comprehensive study of the impact of learning solutions on European automotive sales and service. The study, conducted by Towards Maturity, reveals that 50 percent of automotive original equipment manufacturers find that innovative learning technologies improved business performance.                           

The Towards Maturity report, “Driving Innovation in the Dealership Training for the Automotive Sector,” is a foundational piece of research compiled through telephone interviews and online surveys with 52 automotive respondents, representing 44 manufacturing organizations from 19 nations. They included Fiat, Jaguar, LR Mahindra, Opel, Seat, Volkswagen, GM, Kia, Maserati, Renault, SsangYong, Volvo, Honda, Lexus, Nissan, Skoda, Toyota, and others.

"This research clearly shows that the opportunity for technology-driven learning innovation exists, with 45 percent of respondents agreeing that learning technologies have made a significant contribution to increasing revenue," said Mark Oliver, EMEA managing director at RPS. "In addition, top learning companies are four times more likely to report improved staff motivation and engagement, as well as increased speed of response to business change."

Commissioned by RPS, the research also found that automotive manufacturers are focused on seeking results across a broad range of business goals, and training expectations are high for technology-enabled dealers. As well, the study indicates that learning technologies potentially can inform customers and suppliers about new products and services, and facilitate implementation of new information technology systems. Additional benefits include flexibility, business goals alignment, training efficiency, workforce productivity, and customer satisfaction.

"Today, sales and service professionals in almost every industry, including automotive, are grappling with an array of problems—expanding global markets, rapid proliferation of new technologies, skill gaps in critical positions, and increased productivity demands," said Laura Overton, managing director of Towards Maturity. "Partnering with global training solutions provider RPS, this study shows that learning innovation, applied strategically, is delivering real business results in the automotive sector."

The automotive sector like many others are looking for ways to work smarter, deliver value added training, and ensure learners aren't being held back because of lack of access to resources. This benchmark study shows linkage between dealer training and positive automotive customer experiences.

Additionally, "This thorough study shows that learning innovation is taking off in the sector and is supporting change and growth in the industry," said Sann Rene Glaza, senior manager, Customer Service Training at Toyota Motor Europe. "However, there is more to be gained if we build on the existing foundations and enthusiasm for leveraging technology to support dealership training."

Gartner Reports on Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2014


Each year, Gartner compiles a list of the top technology trends that have the potential to affect individuals, businesses and IT organizations during the next three years. For the second consecutive year, the Nexus of Forces—mobile, social, cloud and information—permeates most of Gartner's Top 10 list as it continues to drive change and create new opportunities.

  1. Web-Scale IT. During the past decade, leading cloud services organizations have been experimenting with new ways to deliver IT services. Their efforts have resulted in a singularity event that changed the trajectory of the IT landscape. Enterprise IT leaders ignore this development at their own risk.
  2. Smart Machines. Leaders need to aggressively examine and act on the promise, threat and effects of smart machines on work patterns (man-machine collaboration), staffing shifts and enterprise business opportunities.
  3. 3D Printing. 3D printing transforms organizations, industries and markets. CIOs, CTOs and IT leaders must learn about and apply the key 3D printing trends that are driving changes to their organization.
  4. The Era of Personal Cloud. As the personal cloud rises in importance, organizations will find current approaches to dealing with users will fail. Leaders must be flexible and respond with new techniques, tools and policies, or risk irrelevance with their user base.
  5. Software-Defined Anything. Server virtualization is a mature technology but, as an IT initiative, it can still be disruptive to IT users and providers. Virtualization provides a foundation for software-defined anything, cloud computing and cost-effective, greener data center projects.
  6. Mobile Device Diversity and Management. Our consumer-driven, BYOD culture pressures organizational leaders to give enterprise end users a wider range of device choices. Gartner's managed diversity model is a structured compromise that offers end-user device choice while protecting enterprise assets and supporting end-user productivity.
  7. Mobile Apps and Applications. Business leaders should incorporate the five attributes of successful mobile apps, which improve the customer experience. Providing a valuable customer experience will increase mobile commerce app adoption, drive usage, and increase both loyalty and revenue.
  8. The Internet of Everything. The Internet of Things will be big, but just how big depends on exactly what is included. This research helps business and IT leaders understand this emergent technology and applications, and describes how IT leaders can help identify significant new opportunities.
  9. Hybrid Cloud & IT as a Service Broker. No cloud service stands alone, but mastery over hybrid IT eludes all but a few enterprises. This road map prepares line-of-business managers and IT leaders to capitalize on the contributions that cloud makes to business process innovation.
  10. Cloud/Client Architecture. Enterprises are faced with the increasing power of mobile devices, the advantages of cloud computing as a delivery model for applications, and the need for better and more-differentiated user experiences. The client-cloud application model sits at the intersection of these trends.

E-Learning Job Market Report

Online learning is in the midst of massive growth. Inc. Magazine named online learning “One of the top eight most lucrative industries in which to start a business for 2013 and beyond,” and Money listed “instructional designer” as the 38th (out of 100) best job in America for this year, citing a 28.3 percent job growth rate through 2023, and an average salary range between $63,700 and $97,400.

Job postings for April 2014 support the media optimism for online learning. Digital Wits, an e-learning agency specializing in highly interactive online learning, gamification, and consumer education publishing, researched the e-learning job market over a 25-day period between April 7 and April 30, 2014.

During that time, there were 1,677 unique (non-duplicated) full-time public job postings for e-learning instructional designers with established companies in the United States. That’s 67 new postings every day. Of those postings, 34 percent, or 570, were telecommute jobs. (The study didn’t count classroom instructional design postings, or jobs at small companies with fewer than 100 employees. So, if you include those, the number of postings would be even higher.)

This should be a banner time for instructional designers. Yet, the survey, “Instructional Designers' Survey: What We Think About our Industry, Jobs, and Future Goals,” conducted by DigitalWits in partnership with eLearning Industry shows many IDs aren’t exactly doing cartwheels. Some are content. A handful are happy. Some are downright despondent.

According to the survey, more than half (52 percent) of e-learning instructional designers are unhappy in their current role and looking to make a move. They are looking to either: Get out of their current company but find another ID position (43 percent); get out of their ID role, but stay with the same company (35 percent); or get out of the industry and their current company (7 percent). Of those who want to get out of their current position, 21% say they want to move up to management and 14 percent want to switch to a full-time telecommute option.

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About the Author

Ryann K. Ellis is an editor for the Association of Talent Development (ATD). She has been covering workplace learning and performance for ATD (formerly the American Society for Training & Development) since 1995. She currently manages ATD's Community of Practice blogs, as well as ATD's government-focused magazine, The Public Manager. Contact her at 

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