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Warning over decreasing IT Training budgets

Donna Butchart, Managing Director of Prōject, discusses the importance of IT training and the return-on-investment it delivers in tough economic times.

Introduction

Training budgets within every organisation are under threat. The global financial situation continues to worry UK and international executives and many organisations are reducing costs. Organisational training and development is often one of the first issues to be reduced and there is a ‘perceived’ need to lower the level of investment in organisational learning and development in order to immediately reduce costs.

This short term view is flawed and research has shown that investment in organisational training and development, in order to increase the skills and knowledge of key staff, increases productivity, improves organisational efficiency and raises staff morale, delivering a cost effective return-on-investment throughout the organisation.

The Importance of Training

A recent report by the Cranfield School of Management titled ‘Nurturing Talent’, urges Britain’s employers to resist cutting training budgets when businesses turn down.  Emma Parry, from the Cranfield School of Management commented that “Three quarters of the 1,189 companies involved in the study felt that training their own staff was more beneficial to their business than recruiting people from outside.”

Training and development within organisations can cover a multitude of areas, the most important of which is information technology (IT) systems training.  IT is used widely throughout every organisation and as computer systems process and manage almost every area within modern day businesses the ability to understand and maximise the potential of each system, in order to make sure an IT investment is working as hard as possible, is critical.

To ensure that IT budgets are working as hard as possible organisations need the right staff with the right knowledge and skills to manage business critical systems.  Training ensures that efficiencies are realised and eliminates bad practice as well as ensuring the organisation is operating as effectively as possible.

Information Technology Training – Oracle E-Business suite

One of the leading providers of enterprise wide IT systems is Oracle.  The Oracle E-Business Suite is a collection of enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), and supply-chain management (SCM) applications that utilise Oracle’s core Oracle relational database management system technology.

With national and international businesses increasingly relying on the Oracle E-Business Suite to manage their business, Strathallan House, a state-of-the-art training centre run by Prōject, offers both consultancy and training support for Enterprise Project Management and all related Oracle applications.

Due to the international nature of many organisations, and the interconnection and synchronisation of global IT systems, the ability to train international teams in remote locations, via secure virtual private networks (VPNs) is vital and can often mean the difference between a coordinated international IT management system working, or not.

The ability to allow remote access to a hosted training environment, letting key staff receive training regardless of geography, as well as providing offsite and onsite training and synchronise global resources with real time online training access is crucial within today’s global workforce.

The UK Training Market – The Future

History has shown that out of every recession, comes innovation. As the prevailing economic situation forces businesses to find new ways to work more efficiently, innovation within IT, and as a result the need for effective management training, is likely to follow.

Prōject predicts that during the next 24 months investment within training and development will continue to increase. As organisations realise the direct return-on-investment that IT training delivers, in terms of improved organisational efficiencies, companies will increasingly look at training and development as a longer term organisational development strategy.

And with training and development becoming an increasingly important national issue, supported financially by the government, there is an increasing level of understanding and awareness of the need for ongoing training and development and the return this delivers to a company’s profitability.

Conclusion

The need for investment in organisational learning and development has never been greater.  As the international economy contracts and business spending decreases organisations must make the most effective use of their existing systems and workforce.

Effectively training key staff in how to fully utilise information management systems is vital.  Research has proven that underutilized information management systems will deliver a ‘cost’ to a business, rather than a ‘return’.

12 May, 2009 by

E-Business Suite

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