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Digital Transformation with Edge Technologies – Sage Advice: Episode 39

By October 17, 2018July 21st, 2020No Comments

Digital transformation is an increasingly pertinent topic in the learning industry, but there are still a lot of questions surrounding this topic – as well as exactly how to execute this “transformation.” Yet, these emerging technologies are already changing the learning ecosystem and will continue to affect the way learners engage with digital transformation with Edge Technologies (and access) the knowledge required to do their jobs.

Brandon Carson, Director of Learning at Delta Airlines, discusses the following “Edge Technologies” that are starting to find their way into the learning industry:

  1. Workplace Automation
  2. Cloud Services
  3. Mobile Technologies
  4. Big Data
  5. Internet of Everything (IoT)

Employees will increasingly require learning at their moment of need, and these technologies will help us deliver on that need.

As learning practitioners digital transformation with Edge Technologies, this means we don’t need to become technology engineers; instead, we need to provide guidance on how to drive business value by leveraging the available technology.


Brandon Carson:             There is a digital transformation happening. It’s upending and effecting every business. I’d say to you that every business, regardless of what your expertise is, or your product is, or your services is a technology business now. Every company on earth is a technology company. The learning organization should stop looking at itself as a support function and more as a business. If I’m driving learning as a business then I want to look at how do I practically leverage the right technology at the right time to help deliver the most business value.

Edge technologies in my context are the technologies that are fueling the digital transformation for business. There’s workplace automation, there’s the cloud, there’s mobile, there’s big data, and there’s internet of everything. These are technologies that are not necessarily mainstream for the average consumer, the average practitioner in learning and development. Eventually they will be mainstream.

All of these combined really help build up the learning ecosystem, if you will, of giving the learner an opportunity at every moment of need to find a solution or find information that will help them in that moment of need. So for instance, the cloud, or mobile. Those are two technologies that work together to provide information in the work stream at a moment of need. If you look at big data on the back of that, I can get data about that learning intervention, what’s going on, and then I can gain insight from what the workers are doing through that data.

So they are different technologies, but they a lot of times work together to provide that experience. It’s important for us to understand how these technologies can be integrated to help drive the right learning solution at the right moment that really results in business value, and that’s the key aspect of understanding how technology transforms training. These are the ones that are being leveraged by businesses to create all of these customer experiences that are fueling the digital transformation.

So it’s really less about becoming an engineer or becoming a technologist. It’s more about finding that intersection of this is how I drive business value, this is how I leverage technology to do that, and oh, by the way, I’m also a learning expert, so I understand what I need to do with those two things to drive value from a learning standpoint.

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