“Layers” of Content and Tech Innovation

Imagine adding “layers” of new learning content, context, and/or interaction to your Learning Management System – without a major upgrade or expensive integration.

Imagine being able to offer the Machine Learning expertise of IBM’s Watson or Amazon’s Alexa to your learners by adding a “layer” of technology that would seamlessly weave through the existing workplace technology.

Imagine if your employees who graduated from business programs at institutions like Wharton, Harvard, or UCLA could add a personalized “layer” of content, curation, and collaboration to their technology workspaces that would enhance their learning experiences.

Imagine if a business unit could offer a “gamification layer” that would provide enterprise-wide content for a cluster of employees, adding a powerful engagement strategy for a targeted cluster of the workforce.

And, imagine if you could inject a “layer” of content in the native language of some of your employees. That layer could live alongside or even replace English content for specific learners who want a deeper, native-language exploration of a topic.

Layers are coming!

Sure, we have always had the ability to ask the IT Department or an external vendor to design, test, and implement an integration of a second program or application into a learning or talent system. But, that would often become a deeply complicated process, with uncertain expenses and “hard-coded” solutions that might require re-integration after an update to the LMS.

The layer looks and feels more like an app on our phones. Layers will leverage the equivalent of an “Open API – Application Program Interface” to allow a business unit or learning department to add/inject/weave/enhance a worker’s learning space with new capabilities, in a safe and secure fashion.

Let’s explore this more by imagining a layer that would provide Apple’s Siri at the workplace:

What makes the layer model so attractive is the ability for an organization to take an approach that is centered on innovation and user experiences. As technology evolves in the marketplace, layers would enable an organization to experiment with and compare diverse tools.

Personalization by business units or specialized roles could be enhanced through a robust set of layers that were available and easily added. 

Remember, you may have a dozen or more mobile apps on your phone that you have tried but haven’t used in months – or even years. The app model has allowed you to be more agile and experimental in how to leverage your phone or tablet.

Layers would also provide a new incentive to the venture and development world as it could more easily provide demonstration or beta versions of innovations to a global marketplace.

What is needed to make layers a reality? 

Yes, layers are coming. Get ready!

Published in CLO Magazine, March 2018