5 Predictions That Will Transform Corporate Training in 2018

At Amalgam Insights, we have been focused on the key 2018 trends that will change our ability to manage technology at scale. Tom Petrocelli provided his key Developer Operations and enterprise collaboration predictions for 2018 in mid-December. To continue that trend, Todd Maddox provides 5 key predictions that will shape enterprise learning in 2018 as markets reach new heights, corporate training embraces new scientific principles, and retention replaces compliance as a key training driver.

  1. VR/AR Enterprise Application Budget to Surpass $1 Billion in 2018
  2. eLearning (Computer-Based Training) Market to Approach $180 billion in 2018
  3. Commercial Training Sector to Embrace Neuroscience of Optimized Learning
  4. Continued Exponential Growth of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a Driving Force Behind the User Interface (UI)
  5. Training for Retention: The Rule, Not the Exception in 2018

VR/AR Enterprise Application Budget to Surpass $1 Billion in 2018 – Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) enterprise budgets will continue to grow, crossing the $1 billion mark in 2018. This budgetary increase will be led by training, simulation and educational applications. As just one example, the number of VR corporate training contracts, like that between STRIVR and WalMart, is expected to increase. VR/AR offer tools that make optimized training feasible through immersive experiences and extensive practice. The scalability of the platforms and the steady decline in cost for high fidelity units will continue to fuel this growth.

eLearning (Computer-Based Training) Market to Approach $180 billion in 2018 – The combined corporate and academic eLearning market will grow by at least 5% over the next 5 years surpassing $180 billion in 2018. The growing need for skilled labor in the workforce, along with the rising cost of classroom educational opportunities, and increased awareness that continual on-the-job training is necessary to remain competitive are driving growth of eLearning in the academic and corporate sectors. The increase in the need for corporate and government awareness training (harassment, diversity, empathy, unconscious bias), and increased prevalence of compliance regulations are more easily addressed in eLearning platforms.

Commercial Training Sector to Embrace Neuroscience of Optimized Learning – Thirty years of neuroscientific research makes clear that the human brain contains two distinct learning systems. The cognitive skills learning system in the brain is ideal for hard skills learning, whereas the behavioral skills learning system is ideal for soft and technical skills learning. The training procedures that optimize learning in each brain-based system are unique and must be incorporated for effective enterprise training. Unfortunately, an Amalgam analysis of SaaS Learning, Development and Talent Management systems makes clear that these solutions are typically optimized for hard skill training, but are sub-optimal for soft and technical skills training.

This is especially problematic given the renewed focus on the “people aspects” of work such as customer experience, employee experience, and the employment value proposition. HR leaders are focused on essential human skills, all of which center around soft skills and leadership/management skills. Despite the increased focus on soft skills training, most companies are dissatisfied with their current soft skills training program, most likely because current platforms are poorly designed to train these skills. There is a still-dormant opportunity for vendors to build to this unmet need and innovate, leading to the potential opportunity to improve leadership, culture, and the triple-bottom line of corporate success.

Continued Exponential Growth of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a Driving Force Behind the User Interface (UI)AI as the new UI is growing exponentially in the commercial sector. Overall, AI implementations are expected to exceed $3 billion in 2018. The largest growth will be in natural language processing. AI is currently being deployed behind the scenes in providing a generalized optimization experience across a wide variety of enterprise applications. The industries being most affected by AI include customer service, finance, healthcare, manufacturing and transportation. Amalgam analysts see significant gaps in this approach as AI tends to under-represent factors such as culture, preferences, goals, and ethics. In light of these facts, Amalgam is focusing its 2018 AI research on providing enterprises with a starting point to consider how to bring design, user personalities, and AI together to unlock increased productivity, satisfaction, and strategic value from current and future application investments.

Training for Retention: The Rule, Not the Exception in 2018 – The # 1 problem with all commercial training programs, whether hard skills, soft skills, or behavioral skills is the lack of emphasis on training for retention. With the steady increase in the number of rules and regulations and the need to achieve “compliance”, the focus is on one-off training, with the goal of verifying that each employee reaches some performance criterion today so that the compliance box can be “checked”. This approach ignores the nearly 150-year old known scientific fact that the brain is hardwired to forget. Training to perfection today does no good if that information is forgotten next week. Training for retention by incorporating engaging content, micro-learning sessions (small, short bursts of training), spaced practice, effective learning style, and motivation/gamification will begin to replace and enhance traditional cognitive training methods.

For more information on these trends and best practices in integrating cutting-edge science to improve corporate training efforts, please get in touch with me at todd@amalgaminsights.com.

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