How to make smart decisions about new technology?

by | Feb 12, 2018 | Articles, Featured

With thousands of solutions available in the market and hundreds of new ones coming out every year, choosing the right technology for your organisation is a daunting task.

We met with David Kelly, Executive Director of the eLearning Guild for a roundtable chat on the first day of the Learning Technologies show to discuss practical ideas about how to make smart decisions when adopting new technologies.


“There is a tendency to get sucked into the latest trend or gadget and many times the pressure comes from the learners within the organisations and even senior managers”, complained one of the participants.  But how do we get out of that trap?

Kelly suggests that we start with a very basic question: what problem is the technology going to solve that we can’t solve today?

Practical idea 1: Focus on extracting value from your current technology

Most companies will have already invested in tools and technology that are already in use. They should firstly focus on extracting maximum value out of what they already have, including the stats and metrics that will help them decide if a new technology can actually improve their current experience – “many companies are still vastly under-using their LMS”, says David.

Practical idea 2: Enable your managers

Organisations can get more value out of what they already have – be it low or high tech – by enabling their managers with the tools and skills to facilitate how they instruct and guide their team to do their job better.

Beware of the buzzwords and don’t try to fit your company into every new technology that comes out. Ask yourself “how can this help me do what I already do better?”, rather than “how can I do what I do using this new technology?”.

Practical idea 3: Listen to your users and their ideas
Listen to your users and analyse your needs from all angles (L&D leaders, business managers and end users). Users usually come up with ideas and suggestions for new gadgets and kit that can be very useful, but you need a clear business case for an investment. Be clear about the “why” when getting new suggestions and dig deeper to understand the underlying problem.

If you finally decide to invest in a new technology, look for solutions that have already been tested and used successfully in a similar case or organisation. “Someone will have been there first”, said Kelly.


Find out more about speaker:

David is the Executive Vice President and Executive Director for The eLearning Guild. Previously, he spent more than 15 years in senior management learning and performance roles, including New York Community Bancorp, Carver Federal Savings Bank and ACLD. David is a leading voice on how technology can be used to enhance training, education, learning, and organizational performance. He is a frequent contributor to the learning community and is well known for his curation efforts, especially related to conferences and events for learning and performance professionals.

Visit the website:
Twitter: @LnDDave ‏

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