Drones and The Cloud – Three Lessons for the Enterprise Learning Function

The Fast Company today published an article on a paper that makes the case for the US Navy to embrace a cloud based IT infrastructure for its vast operations. According to RAND, by 2016 US Navy will reach a tipping point in terms of data generated by drones as the number of drones deployed by the Navy is likely to increase significantly by that time. The Navy will find that the resultant data deluge will overwhelm its analysts. Even today, only 5% of the data gathered actually reach the analysts and the Navy seems to also have challenges pertaining to delivering adequate bandwidth to remote corners of the globe where its assets are deployed. The solution recommended by RAND includes a cloud based infrastructure and dynamic allocation of tasks based on a team member’s availability. I have simplified the summary (possibly over simplified!) to keep the focus on Enterprise Learning. You can read the paper here.

US NavySo what are the take away for the Enterprise Learning function:

1. Be ready for a data deluge. When we deliver training, we are used to collecting feedback forms (online or paper based), we are used to analyzing LMS reports and off late we are at least moving towards tackling data generated outside the LMS as well (Read this article on TinCan API). But as mobile devices become more sophisticated, learner reactions and actions can now be tracked in new ways. Here is an example. Are we ready for the data deluge?

2. Look for offline solutions that can seamlessly work with your cloud based infrastructure and tools. More and more employees are working from home. Here is an article from HBR that makes a case for working from home. The other reason is that people now tend to travel more for business than before. Here is an article on this topic.

3. Hire generalists in the L&D department that can tackle a variety of challenges. The size of the Enterprise Learning department is not expected to grow significantly but companies are not stopping new hire or expansion plans. This automatically means more work for your L&D team. Can they take up additional tasks and new challenges?

Srinivas Krishnaswamy

PS: Today is Memorial Day and on this occasion I salute the brave men and women of the armed forces!


I love to read and share thoughts on technology, enterprise learning, mobile and any thing cool that impacts enterprises.

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Posted in Big Data, Cloud Computing, Globalization, Learning, LMS, Training

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