At Par, If Not Above – The Importance Of Credentialing

Jan 03, 2019

Credentialing solutions are emerging as the most important proof of capability and standardization. Organizations are increasingly turning to global enterprise credentialing as the currency of trust for conducting business.

Credentialing, or capability validation by a third party, separates the wheat from the chaff for enterprises worldwide. Whether it’s a certified workforce, or certified business operational standards, the essence of being certified is proof that external stakeholders are dealing with well-established business enterprises with the will to excel, and not fly-by-night operators.

This is not just a minor trend; it’s a phenomenon that’s sweeping across the world of large corporations, SMBs and even the tiniest startups. Credentials validate external stakeholder trust, and with modern organizations with a distributed workforce spending approximately 39% of their total development budgets in trusted third party credentialing partnerships, the race is certainly on for the next level in Global, Acknowledged and Seamless (GAS) enterprise certifications. Consider the growth of the industry, itself; just a fraction of the entire enterprise certification industry, the ISO standards market, stood at $11.4 bn in 2017 and it’s average Compounded Annual Growth Rate is more than 5%, among the highest for any traditional industry. This is even more pronounced in the case of workforce certification. The global training and certification industry stood at $162.3 bn in 2016, combining both outsourced and insourced initiatives by businesses. This is for North America alone. While 2018 figures are yet to be recorded, the trend is clear. Any organization looking for a growth story that includes dealing with customers, other businesses and even financial institutions, cannot do without enterprise credentialing.

Global Standards for the Modern Enterprise

2018 saw a world where a “distributed organizational architecture” wasn’t just a motto, it formed the foundation for a business almost entirely to be able to operate on a global scale. This was of course accelerated by the rising popularity of blockchain technologies, enabling businesses across the world to securely transact on a secure, decentralized ledger and eliminate the middlemen.

This, along with the all-pervasive cloud computing implementations in thousands of companies across the globe and their Artificial Intelligence initiatives, leave a crucial question behind for the deep thinker: how do any of these organizations prove trustworthy in their operational and delivery capabilities to their customers?

It’s a no brainer, really – the tried and true third party verification of capabilities in technology and operations hold the key. But while this phenomenon is widespread, several other aspects of organizational credential are coming to the forefront. These are primarily for highly specialized skillsets required at some, not all, of the core business functions that are undergoing transformation.

Departmental Credentials – The Rising Wave

Digital transformation of corporate upskilling doesn’t just fall from the sky. The entire process is diligently implemented in a planned and phased manner. Certain functions that are labelled as high priority by ownership and management are among the first ones who need to make the cut. This very factor has seen the rise of departmental credentialing, wherein a micro-unit of any business function, whether its Data Science, Talent Management or Financials, are trained and credentialed. This would be something like a modular implementation of a global standardization of a practice for one specific business function, with other related business functions following suit once the former has been successfully credentialed.

Quite often, however, business leaders, especially in large corporations, opt for handpicked (or electronically chosen) business functions and their functional leads to get credentialed in their respective domains, gaining the necessary expertise to lead further standardization initiatives on a global scale for their peers or subordinates.

This trend has particularly seen a rise in 2018, increasing to encompass 12% of the overall training and development spend by North American corporations on training and development initiatives. This is being passed to a handful of business units whose competency and capability development and validations were considered top priority for doing business. Needless to say, this trend is likely to grow exponentially though 2022.

Globally Distributed, Operationally Unified

Globally distributed workforces have become the mainstay of private corporations, very few of which remain operating in their old archaic markets today. With continuous exploration of newer markets, the very essence of globalization for the modern enterprise, the age old tradition of proven skills and expertise in their respective domains have become mission critical, running parallel to their growth and diversity initiatives. We dare say, the corporate world of the future will have only two species of organizations – the credentialed leaders, and the non-credentialed others. The question is, which of the two will yours be?

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