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Learning in the Cloud
Further, since cloud services are delivered on a subscription basis, rather than being a large, one-time purchase of software or equipment, retention of customers becomes a priority for vendors — and that likely means better quality of service.
“To remain relevant, [vendors] have to have a continual dialogue with [their] user community and constantly deliver value,” said Bob Moul, CEO of Boomi, a PaaS provider. “The end benefit for learning and training professionals is it’s not a dead system; it’s a living, breathing, growing, adapting and evolving system.”
An additional benefit to this model is that because everyone’s connected to the same system, when changes are made, each user gets them immediately. It also allows companies to inexpensively test out solutions for days, weeks or even months before committing to one particular service.
“It’s easy for people to experiment,” Cross said. “You can run cheap experiments — hundreds of them — and see which ones come through.” Cross explained that the old approach forced on organizations was: “Design a system and pray that it works, and then six months later say, ‘We should do something else.’”
The cost savings associated with the use of cloud services are also significant. First, the subscriptions themselves typically are less expensive than purchasing software. For example, a fully configured Taleo system starts around $1,000 a year. According to NIST, the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) for Washington, D.C., has stated that the use of cloud applications can reduce IT and related expenditures between 50 and 90 percent.
Additionally, the ability to reach more people around the world could result in bottom-line business benefits such as increased skill level, productivity and engagement. Mark Filley, a technology operations specialist for Lombardi Software, said he saw this firsthand. His company often struggled with last-minute cancellations for employee training due to sudden work commitments or travel plans.
Leveraging the Latest in Brain Science to Deliver the Next Generation of E-Learning
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