Learning Outsourcing – What is happening out there?
The basic idea behind outsourcing parts non-core business processes is that it can be done better and more cost-effectively by outside vendors or suppliers, allowing the organisation to focus on what is important (core competence). Another major theme is access to capabilities – whether human talent, process excellence, or sheer physical resources. Off-shoring happens when the outsourced work is done by workforce is a different country due to cost differential or better capabilities. Outsourcing is not without its challenges and there have been many cases where it has failed due to rising costs, mistrust with service providers and drop in service levels. Often this is due to the poor planning and unclear scope and definition of deliverables. Despite the challenges outsourcing and off-shoring is increasing with Offshore service providers are delivering 30-40% year-over-year revenue growth every quarter.
Outsourcing in learning and training has been around for a long time. It happens when we get an external expert to deliver a workshop for our employees because either the capability does not exist internally or the capable people are busy running the business. The business of learning has become more complex over the past 10 years. A predominantly classroom training model has moved to a blended learning with more learning being delivered via technology (e-learning). As with all technology based business processes, e-Learning has lent itself to outsourcing. Many organisations outsource their Learning Management System (hosted) or the custom e-Learning development. While selective outsourcing (out-tasking) is common in Asia Pacific, there is a growing trend towards outsourcing entire or substantial parts of the learning function. Designing and delivering effective learning requires intimate knowledge of the business and it is questionable if external vendors can ever have an intimate understanding of the business.
Outsourcing has had and will continue to have an impact on our industry, employment opportunities and the required capabilities for Learning & Development professionals. For example, managing outsourcing (deliverables and providers) has become an important skill set for L&D professionals and career opportunities. Are jobs moving away from organisations to providers or are they being lost to outsourcing?
In the webinar, we cover trends in outsourcing in Australia and Asia and discuss these questions with an experienced panel.
Questions for the Panel
- What are your observations on outsourcing of learning in Australia and Asia Pacific? Has the current financial crises accelerated/slowed outsourcing?
- What has been the impact of outsourcing on various learning activities ie classroom delivery, e-Learning, leadership development and learning logistics?
- What are the “gotchas” and “lessons learnt” from your experience? Are there any prerequisites before you think of outsourcing of learning?
- How is the structure and the composition of the learning function changing to accommodate/adapt to this trend?
- What will the impact of outsourcing on career options and opportunities availability for learning professionals? Do we need to develop new skills and capabilities to adapt to outsourcing?
- Dion Groeneweg – Director – The Cape Group Dion has over 25 years international business experience and 20 years experience designing and developing human-capital-related solutions. He is a recognised expert in enterprise learning processes and systems implementations, as well as integrated talent management systems, and has guided numerous organisations in the Asia Pacific region in their selection of Performance Management, Learning Management, and Succession Management Systems.
- Tim Wilding – Head of Organisational Development & Training – CommInsure
- Jeevan Joshi – Moderator – Learning Cafe is the Producer of Learning Cafe and an experienced practitioner of technology-based learning and collaboration in Australia. For over 18 years, he has combined a strategic and “hands on” approach to assist organisations, understand, design, deliver and improve technology enabled solutions and processes. Jeevan is responsible for developing the LearningCafe brand.