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        Mark Smith's Analyst Perspectives

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        Inkling Advances Digital Learning for Operational Effectiveness

        VR_Digital_Biz_2022_Coverage_Logo-1The necessity of learning is essential for every organization to realize the full potential of the workforce. But many organizations treat learning like training or academic instruction to ensure policy or compliance to a minimum level of work performance, instead of continuing career education and improving skills in the operational workflow. The context for where and how workers work is critical to ensure that on-the-job learning is possible. While traditional learning management systems (LMS) have advanced the authoring and curriculum for formalized training in a digital learning environment, the need to adapt learning to the operational requirements is essential for every organization. This context provides the opportunity for continuous skills development, which is essential to building organizational readiness and workforce resilience critical for everyday operations and business continuity. We assert that by 2024, learning management systems and learning experience platforms with embedded skill and job ontologies that recommend optimal learning paths will guide one-half of organizations to elevate employee engagement, retention and productivity.

        Inkling, a learning experience software provider, offers a digital learning platform that supports a range of applications for authoring, knowledge, tracking and course development. Inkling operates at the intersection of our Digital Business and Human Capital Management expertise coverage, as its role applies to the entire organization. In 2021, Inkling made significant advancements on its platform to support digital learning experiences. At its annual Illuminate conference, Inkling provided insights to its products and direction, the foundation of which I believe is critical in its Learning Pathways, that helps organizations advance the potential of its workforce. To support the ecosystem of other applications that organizations use, Inkling Connect provides an integration framework to link a range of HCM, consumer experience systems, portals, LMS and other applications — including providers like Edcast, Workday and Cornerstone — through its application programming interface. Inkling has made the digital experience in learning simpler through its side-by-side view that works in line with existing applications that are used as part of the job. Inkling has adopted conversational computing through voice control of its application, and geofencing to manage when learning occurs. Inkling Habitat provides the authoring support to ensure a gratifying learning experience through accessibility and content experiences like smart pages and use of its InkForms!, which has continually improved its application and usability.

        Let me highlight some key advancements that demonstrate Inkling’s commitment to effective learning experiences:

        • Adding a consent form to ensure acknowledgement from the worker on the course they are taking and its relevance.
        • Gaining feedback from workers within the context of digital learning.
        • Including global support and localization of languages, including regionalization support for Canadian French and continental Portuguese, as well as right-to-left languages like Hebrew and in countries in the Asia Pacific region.
        • Sequencing support and automated assignment based on roles.
        • Reporting to ensure managers have the context of how a team is achieving skills improvement.
        • Gamification to help make digital learning fun but also competitive across teams of workers.
        • Enabling use cases for replaying learning that occurred on a specific date for any individual through Inkling Replay to ensure any issues can be investigated.

        What makes Inkling unique is the ability to merge formalized operational learning with its focus on the roles of learners, managers, authors and administrators to support a blended digital learning experience. This essential need for every organization is critical to engage the needs of the workforce, whether for customer-facing agents in selling and servicing that is physically conducted at locations, or virtually through digital engagement like that in contact centers as well as the service and supply chain. We assert that by 2024, one-half of organizations will expect their LMS/LXP to support “operational learning in the flow of work” or learning needed immediately to perform a current task.

        Organizations that are concerned about operational effectiveness and see the critical importance of investing in and improving digital learning experiences should evaluate Inkling. Inkling has invested in digital learning experiences that our firm has previously framed as essential for organizational readiness. For its part, Inkling should further expand how it supports specific industry and line-of-business areas where specific applications are used on the job and where skills development happens. I am excited about the announcement on Inkling Labs and its dedicated effort to innovate and work with customers to collaboratively design and improve its efforts. Inkling’s continued growth with brand-name customers validates its efforts, demonstrates relevance and highlights how organizations can independently provide digital learning experiences and maximize existing LMS investments. The potential for your organization in digital learning experiences is significant, and one that should be part of your digital business strategy and technological investments.


        Mark Smith


        Mark Smith
        Partner, Head of Software Research

        Mark Smith is the Partner, Head of Software Research at ISG and Ventana Research leading the global market agenda as a subject matter expert in digital business and enterprise software. Mark is a digital technology enthusiast using market research and insights to educate and inspire enterprises, software and service providers.


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