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How mobile learning is reshaping talent development

For an effective mobile learning strategy, companies need to integrate mobile capabilities with other talent development channels.


Mobile devices are an increasingly ubiquitous presence in our lives, including our work lives. Forward-looking companies are working to use mobility to enhance the way their employees learn and work.

Though mobile learning can be an effective way to reinforce learning experiences within the broader context of talent development, it is important to properly integrate mobile learning solutions into the larger ecosystem of enterprise learning and talent development.

By incorporating mobility into their learning strategy in the right way, companies can multiply the benefits of talent development—helping employees and the entire organization perform at higher levels.

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Mobile learning is here—and here to stay. As smartphones and tablets become a near constant presence in our lives, almost every type of company is considering how best to use mobile devices and applications to enrich their organizations’ talent development capabilities. However, companies are encountering several challenges in designing effective mobile learning experiences.

The most obvious challenge is the size and form factor of mobile devices, with smaller screens and keyboards, and without a pointing device such as a mouse. With these device constraints, one cannot just import e-learning presentations and applications, as is, into a mobile environment nor deploy the kinds of text-heavy reference guides and slides used in classroom teaching.

Key Findings

Given the clear potential of mobility to enrich enterprise learning and drive business outcomes, what can organizations do to accelerate the maturation of their mobile learning strategies and have a more immediate impact on the performance of their people?

Here are some success factors to bear in mind:

  • Design mobile learning as part of your overall integrated learning and talent development strategy.

  • Adapt new techniques for digital content management.

  • Create learning experiences appropriate for a mobile device.

  • Provide seamless training across learning experiences and devices.

  • Create a comprehensive “bring your own device” (BYOD) strategy to deal with security issues.

  • Effectively manage the organizational change that accompanies the move to mobile learning.


Mobile learning is increasingly becoming an essential aspect of an organization’s overall talent development strategy. Mobile learning offers opportunities to deliver training experiences in a way that results in better knowledge retention and new behaviors aligned to business strategy.

To avoid missteps along the way, learning professionals should develop mobile learning experiences that are both appropriate to the mobile device and experience, and complement the enterprise’s broader objectives for talent development.

Using mobile technology simply for technology’s sake can lead learning designers down the wrong path. However, by making the technology serve the unique environment of mobile learning—and by offering compelling user interfaces and seamless user experiences—companies have the opportunity to energize the entire ecosystem of talent development, delivering compelling learning experiences for their workforce anytime, anywhere, and in support of clear business outcomes.


Sei-Myung Chang is a managing director in Accenture Digital, responsible for mobility consulting offerings. He is based in Seoul.

Catherine Farley is a managing director and lead for Accenture Talent and HR Services. She is based in Seattle.

Breck Marshall is a managing director responsible for Accenture Talent Development and Learning services. He is based in Washington, D.C.

Terry Nulty is a managing director and the lead for Accenture Academy. He is based in New York.

Kress Riley is a senior manager and operations lead for Accenture Academy. He is based in New York.

Sean Bengry is a manager responsible for learning strategy and design for Accenture Academy. He is based in New York.