Are You Getting the Maximum ROI from Your Software?

- Christopher Leonard

Companies want value from the software they buy. When considering a software purchase, this question always comes up — “Will I ever figure this software out and realize the value that I am hoping for?” With complex R&D software for a business, often a bigger question is, “Is it user-friendly?”

Online learning, or eLearning, is the path to answering both of these questions with a “Yes”. Increasingly, universities and colleges are offering degree, diploma and certificate programs completely online via onscreen tutorials. Convenience is a big reason for this. Students simply log into their computer and can study from their office or home. Courses can be completed on their own schedule.

eLearning should exist for virtually all software, including plant breeding software. Any serious software company that is serious about support and client satisfaction should have online tutorials — it is the new standard in software support. Tutorials are the answer to a variety of ROI-related issues, including staff turnover.

New staff often come onboard and have to learn the computer system immediately, and also be productive right away. Sometimes it’s not convenient or possible for them to learn from existing staff, and this is where online learning comes in. They simply create an online account and start learning at their own pace. It’s of huge value to the company.

In my work, I get to help provide this learning experience to breeders through our online tutorials for plant breeding software. It’s the most effective way to ensure people who use our software can access the learning tools they need in a quick, convenient way, no matter where they are or what time of day it is.

And, certainly, there’s a cost benefit. Rather than sending staff to training courses — which means course fees plus travel and lodging — online tutorials provide an affordable alternative.

Without doubt, in-person training courses are still hugely valuable. But when breeders use online tutorials to go through at least the basic tutorials, they have more focused questions during the course and experience less information overload. After the course, the tutorials help to reinforce and expand on what was learned.

Software is an investment, and online learning just might be the tool to help you get the best ROI you can.