New technologies are not only changing how we work, but how we learn at work. Integrated learning is becoming more and more important. Time, then, for user assistance to get intelligent.
Lifelong learning is an increasingly critical factor in staying relevant in today’s workplace. With the world’s knowledge is growing exponentially, the half-life of facts is decreasing, according to Harvard mathematician Samuel Arbesman. A recent study of companies and foundations by consulting firm McKinsey and Germany’s Stifterverband network has found that the German economy needs almost 700,000 extra technical experts by 2023, almost half a million of whom should be specialists in complex data. The country needs on average an extra 140,000 technology specialists each year for the next five years. “An immense upskilling challenge,” according to the report.
Learning Just in Time
Learning is becoming an integral part of work. So much so that we are now more likely to learn at our desks than attend a formal course. Classroom training is sporadic learning in which we acquire knowledge that we do not draw on until we are back at work.
When we use digital media and resources to learn, though, training is part of our job routines. We no longer need to leaf through a user manual; the software we use gives us interactive step-by-step instructions on the interface. Blending interactive content with clear instructions means that users need less training, can apply their new knowledge straight away, and can learn continuously on the job.
Where we apply advances in technology to professional development, both employees and their companies benefit. A German government study on trends in employee training in the digital age reported that staff are more motivated to learn when the exercises are taken from the work they perform. But a positive attitude toward new technology is not just a matter of motivation. When employees recognize that the changes are beneficial, it is easier for them to accept them.
SAP too relies on intelligent tools and knowledge-sharing — users learn as they use software solutions. SAP has just published SAP Enable Now Framework, which gives software users the help they need right when they need it.
The framework contains tutorials, instructions, and help, all of which are integrated in cloud solutions from SAP, such as SAP S/4HANA Cloud, the intelligent enterprise resource planning (ERP) business suite in the cloud.
“SAP S/4HANA Cloud is the foundation for transforming to an intelligent enterprise. The most important processes take place here. That is why integrating SAP Enable Now Framework was a vital step toward the intelligent user and why it helps to make employees more productive and efficient,” says Sven Denecken, head of Product Management and Co-Innovation for SAP S/4HANA.
Context-sensitive help on the task in hand guides users through processes.
Employees learn using real-life examples and access learning materials that are always up to date. Customers also benefit from being able to create their own learning materials and customize enablement content delivered by SAP.