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Impact of FREE online tools and content on the Training Industry


Looking at this from a market and supplier perspective, I'd like your views on my observations of the market. The advent of free (or near-free) tools online from the web 2.0 stable is changing the supply chain model of delivering training to organisations. This is happening on the back of the convergence of elearning development with communications asset development over the last 10 years, resulting in many elearning development specialists being pushed out of the market .. and this also in tandem with a general move of training specialists from budget-holding positions within companies (programme managers are the key budget-holders for each programme or revenue business division). So what is the future of the supply and value chain in this newly emerging market? Will suppliers only be valued for their consulting as tools get given for free? Is this market entering the same space as the music industry where anything digital gets given away (or sold for pennies) to build support for the 'live' performance? If so, does this mean a return to workshop delivery or will specialists be able to only provide live 'coaching' to senior staff whilst the rest of the staff get the 'rapid elearning' treatment (very basic and cheap digital courseware)? Love to hear your thoughts on this.

One Response

  1. hybrid learning development
    It was interesting to read the questions you raise in your article. I don’t see it very negative. The reason why they switch to (almost) free tools is because they peobably don’t want to be depending on the supplier of the courses and the tools they use. But it is to expensive to buy their own version of, let’s say Outstart… I guess the future is within hosted solutions where specialised content producers, didactic people, and the subject matter expert on the customer side work together on projects. Each of these persons has their own wishes in terms of functionality. The trick is to offer each user it’s own environment, where in the backend they are all working in the same system. Total Cost of Ownership is very low (little hosting and licenses) but everybody involved knows that in the end they can push their own opinion. They are actually postponing the decision moment of responsibility untill the course is published in to an LMS. Please let me know how you think about this…

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