Embrace the Growing Imperative for Continued Learning and Certification
You wouldn’t see a doctor who isn’t board certified. And you wouldn’t hire a lawyer who hasn’t passed the bar. In fact, without the proper certification, doctors, lawyers, certified public accountants, and others like them can’t even practice their profession. That’s because certification and continuing education signify foundational and current knowledge.
To become certified – and to keep that certification up to date, as is required for many professions – a learner needs current knowledge. While software and technology experts aren’t required by law to pass an exam before they start helping businesses implement new technology, certification and continuous learning are still key. Today, technology experts can receive certification from leading software vendors to reflect their knowledge of and expertise in almost any technology or solution they choose, and there’s a growing imperative for them to do so.
Continue to build upon a foundation of knowledge
It’s no surprise that initial training improves the performance of technology, its users, and the business. A recent IDC study sponsored by SAP found that organizations that provided 10% more ongoing training doubled the improvement in key value drivers.1 But you might even hear some experts say this is old news. Today, there’s real, and often untapped, value to be found in continued learning.
Ongoing training helps experts take even greater advantage of a solution or technology. This is increasingly important in the digital era, as just about all software vendors continue to develop, patch, and upgrade their products to meet the changing needs of their customers. It’s especially true for cloud-based solutions, which are improving at a lightning pace. In fact, the next few years hold significant promise for the cloud – especially for those businesses that offer solution implementation and technology support services to other companies.
Stand out from the competition with certification
IDC predicts that the opportunity for SAP partners will expand to US$260 billion by 2024.2 That prediction is based on the fact that more and more businesses are looking to digital transformation, often based on cloud technology, to enable success. Business leaders are now planning for a post-pandemic world. Many are shifting their focus from recovery and instead strategizing to create a future intelligent enterprise, and the cloud has a large part to play in those plans. Similarly, the cloud – or, more accurately, extensive knowledge of cloud-based software and technology – holds significant potential for SAP partners and other companies like them.
Think of it this way: You probably wouldn’t take your electric car to a mechanic that specializes in gas vehicles, especially when you have a wide variety of certified electric car mechanics to choose from. Technology partner businesses today face a competitive market and must grapple with a similar challenge. Why would a company choose a technology partner that doesn’t have comprehensive and recent certification, especially when their software vendor likely promotes a network of potential certified partners?
To participate in the advantage of the coming boom in cloud technology, technology partner businesses need to stand apart from the pack, and certification can help. Certification is a strategic differentiator that lets potential customers know that you, if you are a technology partner business, are up to date with the latest in technology. Certification, and the continued learning it often requires, is an effective way of letting customers know you’re on top of the most recent new features, best practices, and more.
Extend the impact of learning across your enterprise
The benefits of continued learning aren’t exclusive to attracting and retaining customers. Organizations’ own IT and solution implementation teams have a lot to gain with continued learning about their organizations’ chosen technology. Experts operating with outdated information can’t be expected to keep systems efficient or secure. Nor can businesses with untrained users or administrators expect to make the most out of their technology investments.
According to IDC, the best-trained organizations see between 8 and 17 times the improvement in key performance measures for users. And organizations were 72% more satisfied with their SAP software when these same groups received more training.3 As a best practice, IDC recommends annually:4
- 32 hours of ongoing training per end user
- 45 hours of ongoing training per administrator
- 32 hours of initial training to each implementation team member
Ongoing training can help you keep pace with the quickly changing trends in technology – today and into the future. If you’re an SAP partner, you can support your continued learning journey with SAP Learning Hub, partner edition. This edition, created specifically for SAP partners, provides on-demand access to all published SAP learning content on SAP solutions, the SAP Live Access environment, and exam attempts for the SAP Global Certification program.
1.–4. IDC White Paper, sponsored by SAP, “Game Changer: The Transformative Impact of Training,” October 2020.