Mistakes made in IT Training Budgets
The growing relevance of the digital ecosystem and its related services has made it necessary for firms to invest a significant amount of time planning training budgets for the IT department. Organizations completely realize the fact that in order for the firm to keep up pace with the fast changing IT trends, investing in training for IT employees is critical.
But even though the importance is recognized, IT managers are often not clear of the objectives or priorities they need to meet in those budgets. That’s because a modern day IT training budget is not as simple as just allocating money to hire a trainer to run a series of pre-decided learning modules related to relevant fields.
As the complexities of modern tech grow, so do the planning spectrums of the IT budget, however, there are still some common mistakes that business commit while planning this budget that costs them in terms of wasted financial resources and serious gaps in achieving the intended outcomes.
Here are some top mistakes that are consistently made during the planning of IT training budgets and the ways to avoid them:
Underinvesting in Training:
This is perhaps the most common mistake made by IT managers but they are not alone in this as more often than not, the senior C level executives are also complicit in reducing the budget required for training the IT workforce to intended levels.
It mostly happens in firms where the senior management treats IT training as an expense which is discretionary. They don’t see it as an investment that would enable the workforce to respond effectively to newer technologies the firm has to implement.
The schedule for commencing the approvals for training is often staved off till the time the business enters its last quarters and if it’s been a good year in financial terms, the budgets might get approved as is, but if it’s been a bad year monetarily, then the training budgets would see some massive cuts.
This reactive approach to training fails to see training as an investment that could transform the firm’s business processes and play a huge role in its subsequent progress.
This approach is inherently wrong and could cause a seriously detrimental impact on the firm’s readiness to respond effectively to new technologies being implemented in its immediate competitive space.
To avoid this issue, the IT managers or whoever is responsible for presenting this budget should have a clearly worked out analysis on which skills the trainings intend to work on and how exactly will they be beneficial to the firm’s cause. These managers need to make other stakeholders see the investment in training the IT workforce as a justifiable investment tied to actual business goals.
No Allocation For a Front-End Analysis
Every single firm has an entirely different set of requirements when it comes down to IT related training, so its inherently foolish to run training programs without first running a complete front end analysis on the skills required to be worked on with reference to the business’s strategic goals or future technology implementation related plans.
This highly important phase of the whole training program is often skipped altogether by the management and they jump straight into executing the training programs themselves based on conventional learning modules that are deemed as the modus operandi for such type of training tasks.
Giving out IT related trainings on just assumptions as to what exactly are the kind of skills that need to be learned by employees is probably the worst case scenario your firm could find itself in and often, this whole exercise results in a huge waste of resources with very little gain.
A major chunk of the budget should always be set aside for conducting an audit related to employee’s current skill sets, the problems they face due to their skill gaps and how best to customize the learning modules to fit the employee’s best preferences.
Once this is done with, the training plans will be much better aligned with real time business goals.
Not Investing in Resources For Learning Experience Platforms:
Modern tech trends and techniques grow at such a fast pace that conventional learning programs often fail to respond to them in a timely manner. Countering this issue requires the firm to shift to Learning Experience Platforms where e-courses are available with multiple features ranging from AI powered customization for facilitative learning to self-paced timelines.
But because such high-end platforms are not so mainstream still, firms often don’t realize they exist until they have to find an alternative to their floundering efforts to impart learning through conventional means.
At such a stage, a major budget discrepancy can arise because the pricing models of both these platforms differ hugely. Firms that haven’t planned anything related to such platforms in their initial budgets have to then either forego the shift or make an effort to secure alternate means of funding within the firm for it and both of these approaches can create immense problems for the firm.
When planning an IT budget in today’s world, a firm must incorporate investment for LEPs in it’s overall plan. This can be done by building a training mix which consists both, conventional and LEP learning modules. And then gradually, a complete shift to LEPs can occur within the next couple of years or as the business deems necessary.
Wrapping Things Up:
IT managers often face incredible odds when presenting IT training budgets in front of the senior management of their firms as most among the latter are not that well versed with tech specific issues as they are highly complex more often than not.
The senior management might not see the benefit of most of these training budget allocations, so it’s the task of the IT managers to ensure that they manage to present a clear plan on how deliverables will align with business goals and why such a budget is necessary to comply with the business’s growth expectations.