Army sees online training as quick march to savings

The army is turning to online training in an attempt to encourage its staff to use its Land Command communications network more...

The army is turning to online training in an attempt to encourage its staff to use its Land Command communications network more efficiently.

The Army Land Command, which is responsible for the army's front-line troops, believes it can make significant savings by encouraging staff to use IT more effectively.

Land Command is investing £250,000 in an online training system that will instruct administrators in the basics of using e-mail and word processing packages.

The system, based on IBM's Learning Space software, is designed to give staff access to more parts of Land Command's Integrated Staff Information System (Isis), as they become competent in its use.

It will enable the army to train workers in areas as far-flung as Germany and the Balkans, where it is often impractical to run classroom courses.

"We have formal and informal training in place. In some locations we do it better than others. One of the challenges is how we can provide more consistent, better training," said colonel Barry Keegan.

Land Command has hired Parity Training to develop a series of training modules for the system, due to go live in April on Land Command's Windows NT infrastructure.

Keegan believes that the system could significantly cut the costs of maintaining the Isis network.

A recent system audit revealed that many users were letting mail boxes and Web spaces fill up because they had not been properly trained.

"We see this training package as a way to educate people how to do business," Keegan said.

"We are not justifying this on return on investment. We are looking at effectiveness gains. If we have a better user understanding, we can keep costs under control."

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