The Role Of IT Department In eLearning Implementation
The IT department of any organization plays an important role in effectively using latest technologies to overcome the various business challenges. It has become an integral and most important component of modern business organizations. But what is exactly the role of IT department in eLearning implementation?
Why You Need The Support Of IT Department In eLearning Implementation?
To develop an eLearning system that suits your organizational needs, you need to work together with your internal IT staff. Here are some of the reasons you need their cooperation for a successful eLearning rollout.
1. Help During eLearning Implementation.
eLearning systems are used by a wide range of audiences who include your employees, dealers, or sometimes even your customers. They may access the system from any place, time, device, and network. So, before implementing such systems at your workplace, you need to be aware of the information security issues or technical glitches and technology infrastructure your organization requires to support eLearning (issues that may arise during the implementation). The IT department plays a critical role in assisting you in these areas.
2. Get Clearance From Top Level Management.
Getting the support of top management is not enough to initiate the eLearning implementation process. If your IT department doesn’t give the clearance, you are in queue. Sometimes the IT department sees it as a threat to the firm’s information security or may be unwilling to get involved in the initiative due to the overwhelming projects they already have in hand.
3. Collaborate Successfully With eLearning Vendors.
You may need to outsource the eLearning course development or hosting services to third party learning service providers. In some cases, your IT team provides the hosting services where you want the courses developed by third party eLearning vendors to be uploaded on your platform. The technical requirements for the course that needs to be hosted can be better explained by your IT staff to the vendors.
In case you outsource the hosting services to an external eLearning service provider and want to integrate it with other enterprise software such as SAP, the partnership with the IT department is imperative to successfully roll out the enterprise learning solution in your organization. Moreover, your IT department can also help you in selecting the right Learning Management System vendor who can meet your unique learning requirements.
How To Gain IT Support?
Here are some means to get the support of the IT department in eLearning implementation in your organization successfully.
1. Communicate And Collaborate.
Communication plays a key role in collaboration with your IT staff. Most often, training departments are alien to the terminologies and the language the IT team speaks. In order to make the collaboration successful, you need to be aware of the various IT terms and basic concepts, so that you can understand what the IT staff talks about and communicate in their language.
2. Initiate eLearning With The IT Staff.
In some cases, you can initiate eLearning with the idea of training the IT staff with technology-enabled learning. As most of the people in your IT department need skills that constantly change over time and eLearning has a low recurring cost, it can be the perfect option to train them and gain the support for the further rollout to other departments.
3. Share The Financial Burden Of The New IT Infrastructure.
The need to know about your existing IT infrastructure is very important for rolling out the eLearning program successfully. In most cases, the IT department may have the requirement to buy new hardware and software for installing the eLearning system at your workplace. If the training department shares the expenses that are likely to be incurred, it can woo the IT department to get involved and work efficiently.
Note: In case you want to host the learning programs on an external webserver, most of the eLearning outsourcing and Learning Management System, vendors can help you in that aspect. In such instances you can reduce the involvement of your internal IT department to a great extent as the vendor takes up the major responsibilities to get the required system in place.
But if you want to implement an enterprise-wide learning system that needs to be connected with other software such as HRIS, SAP, you need a greater involvement of your internal IT department.
4. Reduce Conflicts Between IT And Training Departments.
To implement the eLearning system successfully, training and IT departments should work hand-in-hand. In such cases, conflicts are inevitable. So partnering with the IT team right from the initiation phase sets the perfect foundation to reduce the probability of conflicts that may arise during the implementation.
These are the various benefits you can get by partnering with your internal IT team for the smooth implementation of eLearning in your organization. For more information you can read our eBook-eLearning 101: An Advanced Guide to eLearning Implementation.
- The eLearning Department of One
- Allison Rossett (2002), The ASTD eLearning Handbook, Newyork, MCGraw-Hill.