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The changing face of workplace training

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11th Nov 2013
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Philip Badman discusses the new education and training requirements resulting from technology advances in the workplace.

Adapting to new ways of working

IT training and education to make people aware of how their and their companies' data is secured and available to them is likely to become the next generation of mandatory workplace education requirements. New and existing staff will have to be educated before being allowed to sit down at a piece of company equipment. In very much the same way as a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) or an acceptable use policy (AUP) to define network access is used now, staff will have to be appropriately trained on data access, protection, storage and delivery.

In addition, with data being available via secured and ever speedier networks such as always-on broadband and 4G, there is likely to be the adoption of training requirements never before envisioned. Couple this with the portability of next generation mobile devices and it is not difficult to see a rapidly widening skills gap.

With the introduction of new technologies come new ways of working, and consequently a requirement for staff training. The advent of cloud computing, where data is stored and accessed from virtualised pools, and bring your own device (BYOD), where employees can bring mobile devices into the workplace, have brought many advantages. These include greater productivity and flexible ways of working as employees are able to work from home or on-the-go using mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets. However, there are IT challenges relating to information security that must be addressed.

"All you need is your computer, tablet or phone and an Internet connection to work on the go and as all team members, regardless of their location, can access centrally located documents, this reduces the risk of human error"

Over the last 18 months the UK market for cloud services has seen a 27% increase in first time users and that rate of adoption has accelerated in the last nine months. As a result, the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) predicts that 75% of UK businesses will be using at least one cloud service by the end of 2013. As more and more companies adopt cloud computing solutions, there will continue to be increased demand for staff training to ensure the security of company data.

Embracing the M word

Productivity is a word that is often used by management teams and improved technology is a useful way to gain efficiencies in the workplace. Microsoft has invested heavily in trying to simplify the user experience with Office 365, a cloud-based Microsoft Office suite.

Accessing your enterprise software over the Internet has some key advantages. All you need is your computer, tablet or phone and an Internet connection to work on the go and as all team members, regardless of their location, can access centrally located documents, this reduces the risk of human error. Cloud computing also removes the need to download or install dedicated software on your own computer, freeing up onboard memory and reducing energy costs. Training can be delivered on how to navigate Office 365 in order to reap these benefits, while also removing any risk to data security.

The Future of IT Training

Information technology is the lifeblood of most businesses today. As such, IT training will continue to be of increasing importance to ensure the integrity of information and that a company is not left behind in the marketplace. Only through education can employees fully reap the benefits that new technologies bring to the workplace. This includes greater employee productivity, improved customer experiences and the cost savings that come hand in hand with increased efficiencies.  

Philip Badman, Deputy Principal at Newham College of Further Education and Director of New Horizons London. In 2012, New Horizons celebrated delivering 30 years of computer training to over 30 million students worldwide. It also saw the re-launch of New Horizons London, overlooking London's Olympic Village. As part as the new Tech City initiative, New Horizons London's flagship learning centre is easily accessible and houses state of the art training facilities

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