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Learning in the Cloud
That said, companies can proactively work to mitigate potential security issues by developing and implementing a formal policy on cloud computing.
“There’s a danger if there’s not a well-understood policy and culture around what’s secret and what’s not,” Cross said. “Even if [companies] figure, ‘We don’t allow any of this stuff,’ they still better have a policy.”
To create a truly effective policy, however, learning professionals first must envision the big picture.
Moul emphasized that there is no cutting corners on that. “I don’t think any technology shortcuts the need to understand your road map and your framework of how you want your business to run and how the applications need to work together,” he said.
In fact, since cloud computing is still relatively new, the integration piece itself could pose a challenge. Moul said about 75 percent of Boomi’s clients have some applications running in the cloud and some running on-site, meaning they need to find a way to allow all of these programs to communicate with each other.
Further, “some enterprise organizations have controls about what you can install on a machine, so that can be a challenge,” Knox said. “Again, you should do a trial to find out if there are any kinks you need to iron out.”
Filley said Lombardi Software encountered this issue when trying to deliver virtual learning via the cloud.
“Whatever your hosted learning solution is, you need to make sure well in advance that your participants know it and it’s clearly understood what software they have to install,” he said, adding that it could take a week or more to get the IT department involved and sort out all the necessary permissions.
In fact, since cloud computing will require greater collaboration and communication between learning and IT departments, Knox suggested companies deal head-on with a potential culture clash.
“If there are IT folks that are responsible for on-site environments or on-site software that’s being used by the training department, the move to a cloud approach can be a little threatening,” Knox said. “They think that this could potentially eliminate their job or make them less needed in an organization. That’s not typically the case. Typically what happens is the IT folks take on a different role, which is more of a management and policies [role]. [But] I think culturally there are some barriers.”
The Next Generation of HR: What’s Wrong? What’s Right?
May 23rd 1:00pm - 2:00pm CT
2013 CLO Breakfast Club, Boston
September 12th - 12th, 2013The Westin Copley Place
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September 30th - October 2nd, 2013Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa
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