If you’ve turned on the news lately (or stepped outside if you live in the northern United States), you know that large portions of North America blanketed in freezing arctic air. This has had a severe effect on a significant portion of the country and created dangerous conditions for millions of people.
While the business impact of these weather conditions may be temporary, it does bring to mind how the polar vortex is similar to poorly trained employees. Here’s why:
1. Everything Grinds to a Halt
According to The Guardian the last time there was a similar polar vortex the toll on business was $5 billion. Likewise, if your company doesn’t have the capability to effectively train employees, you’re losing money. Working one-on-one with each new employee, or current employees looking for new skills, can be time-consuming and inefficient. If you have multiple training systems, large numbers of learners or multiple locations, these conditions can all strain your budget and create productivity problems.
When you virtualize the training experience, you can reach any number of learners wherever there is an internet connection. Not only can a single instructor quickly deploy and manage the course, more people can be trained quickly through a highly scalable learning environment. The result is the ability to implement more training courses – leading to better skills, more satisfied employees and less turnover.
2. Conditions Are Unsafe
When the wind chill temperature is negative 40 degrees, it’s extremely dangerous. Even a few minutes outside can cause frostbite and hypothermia. Similarly, one poor decision by an employee can cause a cybersecurity nightmare with severe ramifications on the company.
Cybersecurity training is an important and often overlooked aspect of your overall training program. According to our white paper, How CISOs should respond to the Cybersecurity Crisis, nearly half of organizations reported at least two security incidents over the previous two years. To improve security, implement a training program not just for IT but for non-technical employees as well.
Gartner suggests a program includes engaging tools and simulations. Virtual training using the right technology can provide exact duplicates of employees’ real-world work environments. It can also present realistic scenarios such as spear-phishing emails – the starting point for 91 percent of data breaches. CloudShare’s solutions, for example, utilize security protocols including SSL encryption and API token authentication to ensure protection wherever learning is taking place.
3. It Creates a Ton of Work
Things break when temperatures get as low as they do during a polar vortex. Pipes can burst, ice can bring down power lines and there’s a lot to catch up on when government services resume after an interruption.
Typically, setting up virtual training for internal use can require IT support for every course, slowing down process and taking resources away from other projects. If you’re preparing a sales demonstration outside your business, your IT team must coordinate with the prospective client’s team, and the sale can be jeopardized by potential collaboration challenges, technical incompatibility and communications issues.
The right virtual labs technology should be cloud-based, so you can set up courses without relying on IT every time. With the cloud, instructors have all they need to create and customize training courses in minutes. In fact, they should have the ability to select ready-to-go templates to meet common course needs or deploy a fully customized environment that suits your specific requirements. This way, instructors have a full suite of class management tools at their fingertips and can easily communicate with learners wherever they are. Additionally, you should look for licensing that’s included with each template, saving additional time and expenses.
Businesses today face a variety of risks, from a lack of career progression impairing employee motivation to the constant threat of data breaches. While a polar vortex may be a seasonal issue that impacts one part of the country, every business stands to benefit from the convenience and efficiency of virtual training tools.
Interested in better preparing and training your employees for inevitable risks and challenges? Step into the shoes of an Atlassian student with this webinar to discover how you can beat the learning curve with virtual IT labs and hands-on training.