5 Questions About the Role of Corporate Academies in Corporate Transformation

Hardly a day goes by without encountering the concept of ‘corporate academy’. Not only does the concept appear in every aspect of social and business life, but it also becomes increasingly popular day by day. In this article, we approached the concept of corporate academy within a framework of five comprehensive questions.

What is a corporate academy?

A Corporate Academy is an official educational initiative established by a business to train and/or increase awareness of customers, the industry, partners, employees, or any combination thereof, within certain frameworks. Corporate academies are often known by names such as “Academy,” “Center of Excellence,” or “Institute.”

What is not a corporate academy?

  • Internal knowledge databases serving the organization itself,
  • Redesigned blogs and other company resources converted into training materials,
  • Customized training sessions created upon request,
  • Independent educational videos or other resources strategically placed within a software application do not qualify as corporate academies.

Corporate academies are often confused with the above structures because many of today’s academies that benefit individuals in need of education incorporate all of these competencies.

What are the types of corporate academies?

As can be understood from the above denominations, there are many types of corporate academies, and these academies fall into one of the following five categories:

  1. Customer Academy,
  2. Industry Academy,
  3. Partnership Academy,
  4. Employee Academy
  5. Any combination thereof.

The most common corporate academies today are customer education programs. This is because initiating them is generally easier and cheaper, and achieving high business outcomes is more straightforward.

What are the top three benefits provided by corporate academies?

If structured well, corporate academies have the power to transform your company in every aspect. While there are benefits such as being a center for education, creating an ecosystem around the business, and generating additional business opportunities, below are the top three benefits experienced by companies that establish corporate academies:

Educating customers and increasing awareness

The benefits of having a formalized customer education program within the corporate structure have been measured, yielding the following results:

  • A 6.2% increase in revenue,
  • A 7.4% increase in customer retention rates,
  • A 7.1% increase in lifetime value,
  • An 11.6% increase in customer satisfaction.

Additionally, it is highly likely that satisfied and successful customers you educate will become expert users who contribute to improving your products and services through user feedback programs or become advocates for your business in the market, helping you grow.

Educating and raising awareness of the market

According to Dell Technologies’ report, “Realizing 2030: A Divided Vision of the Future,” 85% of jobs expected to be in place by 2030 are not yet available today.

Therefore, with everything changing rapidly and new concepts and methodologies emerging, today’s workforce needs to continuously develop their skills. This presents a tremendous opportunity for organizations to become the “go-to knowledge source” for their industries.

Training and raining awareness of employees

A recent study by IBM revealed that 84% of high-performing employees received the training they needed, compared to only 16% in low-performing organizations. The relationship between employee training and success is clear. In fact, various studies have shown that personnel capabilities are one of the four external factors that most affect companies (Figure-1).

Figure-1. External Factors Affecting Companies

Source: The Value of Training, IBM Site, https://www.ibm.com/training/pdfs/IBMTraining-TheValueofTraining.pdf

An academy is particularly transformative for rapidly growing companies that hire a large number of new employees every month. As new people join the organisation, the need for scalable training that empowers them and ensures consistent and cohesive messaging increases.

Similarly, as your company grows and launches new products, expands into new markets, and sets new company-wide goals, you need current training to empower your employees to advance your business. Corporate academies are also useful for aligning everyone during major change initiatives and strategic projects.

Gradual training is the most productive and effective way to accomplish this.

Instead of a Conclusion: The Future of Corporate Academies

Today, there is much discussion around all dimensions of learning and development such as skill acquisition, skill enhancement, cross-skilling, and reskilling. For example, an employee is now asking not only “What skills do I need to be an effective brand manager?” but also “What do I need to know in branding to produce this specific business product?” Therefore, everything in a corporate academy in the future, as in the example, should reflect the skills that will enable a unit manager to perform unit management functions.


Dell Technologies Sitesi, Dell Technologies Report: Realizing 2030: A Divided Vision of the Future, https://www.delltechnologies.com/content/dam/delltechnologies/assets/perspectives/2030/pdf/Realizing-2030-A-Divided-Vision-of-the-Future-Summary.pdf

IBM Corporation, IBM Report: The Value of Training, IBM Corporation Somers, NY, 2014.

Ernst & Young Sitesi, Ernst & Young Report: What business ecosystem means and why it matters, https://www.ey.com/en_us/alliances/what-business-ecosystem-means-and-why-it-matters.

Saas Academy Advisors Sitesi, “The Ultimate Guide to Building a Corporate Academy”,  https://www.saasacademyadvisors.com/ultimate-guide-to-corporate-academies#:~:text=A%20Corporate%20Academy%20is%20a,an%20emphasis%20on%20scalable%20methods.

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