By: Sridhar Krishna, Chairman & MD, Sankhya InfoTech
Training is an organization-wide function, therefore needs to be centralized in order to create a homogenous organization with a common vision, values, and goals. This is so that leadership teams will have a clear view of the human capital, its skill gaps, and competency levels. Having standards ensure a measure of success for an organization, as this indicates the organizations’ continuous effort to improve the competency of human capital.
Compliance is a dimension that ensures coverage of training across the organization, and periodic intervals, as demanded by both the regulatory requirements and the need that may be driven by the trainee or the organizational leadership.
Finally, analysis of training is the vital part that helps organizations realize the true value that is derived from training function.
Training and learning patterns have undergone tremendous change with the advent of technology. Irrespective of the size, geographical distribution, criticality of training needs of an organization, trainees have embraced training in informal settings. Further, mobile devices have become an effective tool to impart training, with the added benefit of being able to reach trainees in remote areas, and the ability to impart lessons at any time of the day as per the convenience of the trainee as well as the trainer.
Using cloud-based methods for training
Cloud has become an extraordinary tool to meet all the above-stated goals. Evolution of cloud-based technology has evolved beyond providing infrastructure. Smart tools and analytics have enhanced the function of a training management system deployment and ease of use on cloud. For example, the Iris recognition smart tool as a function of cloud offering immensely helps to ensure that the designated candidate is taking training and evaluation.
Similarly, data analytics tools of Cloud based training management system helps organizations to take a deep dive into various aspects of training for timely interventions to bridge skill gaps and improve competency.
Training and simulation companies were among the first to recognize the power of cloud computing technology, and developed entire suite of products such as learning management online assessment system and training management, on the cloud infrastructure. The transition to cloud-based tools was a result of both a business requirement and efficiency.
Take the case of the airline industry. Effective distribution of high-fidelity courseware for Pilots, Cabin and Engineering crews of Airlines was always conducted in person and in designated locations as it is very rigorous and intense, besides being subject to severe regulatory compliance and periodic inspections and evaluations.
However, airline crews are on flights and the work schedule makes it very difficult for them to gather in a designated training environment all the time. These requirements make it a necessity for crews to be able to access courseware at will, from any place, at any time, and most importantly without losing the fidelity of the courseware.
Using the cloud and mobile devices such as iPads, laptops, and mobile phones, it is now possible to distribute training courses to the airline crew. As the infrastructure scaled easily, and connectivity was only determined from the end user side, crew accessed courses easily. From a regulatory standpoint it was important to establish that the right trainee is provided with the training. Iris and face recognition add-on tools on the cloud that could be easily plugged into the software product platform helped overcome this crucial regulatory requirement.
Self-evaluations of trainees using online assessment system could also be monitored using the recognition systems to establish authenticity of the trainee. However, final and qualification evaluations are proctored.
This way cloud greatly helped trainees to access, and self-evaluate at any time and at any place in compliance of the regulatory requirements and without compromise on the fidelity of the courses.
From the organization side, cloud has helped instructors to design, review, critique, and modify course curricula easily. Review of curricula by regulatory authority that was earlier a complex and tedious task requiring several regulatory visitations, have become much simpler to manage. Scheduling training courses and distribution of training calendars, messaging and notification
distribution using smart tools has ensured connectivity between crews and training organization of the airline.
Cloud also ensured centralized maintenance of training records, an important function that ensures monitoring of training compliance.
Grading of the crew at the workplace (on flight for flight deck and cabin crew and on hanger side for engineering crew) is an important function. Cloud and mobile device based evaluations have made these functions paperless in a reliable way. And again, with advances in technology, a lot of these functions have been automated, tremendously reduced the workload of instructors and examiners.
These solutions are currently in use by the major airlines of today, including Etihad Airways, and Emirates. The added benefit of using cloud-based training and simulation technology besides increasing efficiency and saving on instructor / trainee time has been on the monetary side.