What Does the Transition to SaaS Mean for Training?

This past weekend, I had an interesting experience that has had me thinking about software, the Internet, and the world we now live in. Granted, given my line of work, these ponderings are not new to me, but my work and lifestyle are exactly what made this particular experience so incongruous. I purchased a new computer, which is scheduled to arrive this afternoon. In preparation for the transition, I started transferring my files from my current computer onto an external hard drive so that I can move them onto the new computer when it arrives. As I began this process, there was an almost surreal feeling to it, and I thought, “This is 2017. Why on earth am I manually transferring files like this?”

The good news? I’m not spending hours evaluating which programs on my old computer need to be reinstalled on the new computer and which ones I can live without, and then rummaging around for old software disks. In fact, I’ll install relatively little on my new computer this time around because I access many tools that I use through a web browser. And the ones that I do have to install? In most cases, I’ll log into my account online, download the installation pack, and then sign into the tool with my account.

We live in a world where Software as a Service (SaaS) is rapidly becoming the expected norm for software, both at home and at work. According to a study done by BetterCloud in 2017, 73% of organizations predict that by 2020, nearly all of their business applications will be SaaS. I could dive into the pros and cons of this transition, but that’s not my focus for today. Instead, I want to start thinking about this question:

What does the transition to SaaS mean for training?

I remember starting a job about 15 years ago where I had to use a specific tool. I was handed a paper, somewhat worn around the edges, that walked me through how to use this tool. The steps on the paper, printed months before, matched the tool exactly. It was easy and straightforward.

I contrast this to the frustration I encountered about a year ago as I prepared to onboard a new team member. I was compiling some documentation for her and rolling my eyes because even though we had just created the documentation a couple of months before, most of it needed at least a little bit of tweaking to be accurate again.

SaaS is a double-edged sword; it constantly improves (at least in theory), is always offering you the ability to do more, and is able to respond to the needs of the client base. But there is no denying that ever-evolving tools make training a challenge. In upcoming posts, I’m going to take a closer look at specific aspects of training, and examine how this transition to a SaaS world impacts our traditional methods of training.

Your turn: When was the last time you had to perform or take training on a SaaS tool? What worked well in that training? What made learning more difficult?

Nicole Harrison

Nicole Harrison

Nicole Harrison is a Curriculum Product Manager for Maverick Solutions’ Oracle Financials Cloud course suite.
Nicole Harrison

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