The reports of Flash’s death are not greatly exaggerated. Indeed, the end is nigh for the controversial software platform: Adobe is ending support in 2020 and many big tech players are already phasing it out.
If your organization still relies on Flash-based training and certification courses, this means the time to start converting to HTML5 is now. However, it’s important not to panic, and not to dive in headfirst without a plan. Doing so could leave both your budget and valuable curriculum broken.
There’s a right and a wrong approach to HTML5 conversion, and knowing the difference is essential. Here’s a look at why the conversion process is so important and difficult, and how taking advantage of technology and expertise can make all the difference.
A lot to lose
Organizations should first acknowledge the main reason behind the phasing out of Flash: security. The software is notorious for sending out patches to address security vulnerabilities and relies on users to constantly download software and updates. In a cybersecurity landscape where attacks bring organizations to a halt on a daily basis, Flash needs to go for those reasons alone.
Then there’s the issue at hand: hundreds or thousands of training and certification web-based courses relied on by large organizations to keep employees trained and in regulatory compliance. Behind each is a trove of Flash and non-Flash media files: text, animation, photo, audio and video.
What happens if you don’t convert the ones that need it, or don’t do the conversion correctly? Maybe nothing today. But that could change tomorrow if your IT department decides or needs to update everyone’s browser to one that no longer supports Flash. Any course containing a single or multiple Flash files will likely be either broken entirely, not run properly, be missing content, let the user complete the course but not receive credit, or suddenly freeze at any point.
Then the employee complaints start rolling in to IT and the learning department. Meanwhile, the nonfunctioning courses remain security vulnerabilities, and still need to undergo conversion to get back up and running.
So how do you start? You’ll likely begin with lots of questions, such as:
- How do we budget for this?
- How many courses need conversion?
- Where are the source files?
- What is the reusability of the media assets?
- What happens if we don’t meet the deadline?
- How do we ensure everything gets converted?
To answer the questions above, and the many more that will crop up, data and experience are key. Consulting a third-party expert who has been through the conversion process multiple times might be of help. They often help raise additional issues you hadn’t considered, such as mobile device and screen resolution compatibility, conversion priorities, and whether some of the content is even worth converting.
Technology that provides certainty
From the basketball court to the boardroom, before the defense is set or a product launched, there’s a plan that began by relying on data. This is no different. Knowing what you have and what you’re up against is crucial to a successful Flash to HTML5 conversion process.
Raytheon Professional Services (RPS) has developed a unique technology that can probe, extract, and organize data from thousands of courses at a time – to provide insights that feed a Flash to HTML migration plan. Our proprietary tools use a blend of advanced algorithms, artificial intelligence and robotic process automation to analyze the course data upfront, so you have certainty as you move forward.
This allows RPS to provide customized road maps to customers that show the big picture from the start. It manages expectations and budgets, ensures courses get converted properly and on-time, and identifies opportunities for improvements in individual courses and the overall learning strategy.
RPS can help answer the questions raised in this blog and more. Our experience means we’ve already identified what the costly conversion stumbling blocks are — and know how to avoid them. Because when it comes to Flash, the clock is ticking, and you don’t want to be surprised when it strikes midnight. Get in touch with our team now to get your conversion process rolling.
In our next blog, read about how the chaos of the Flash to HTML5 conversion process also presents opportunities for change and learning improvement. How would you tackle the Flash conversion process in your organization? Do you have lessons learned that you’d like to share? Start a conversation in the comments below or connect with us at @RaytheonRPS using the hashtags #Flashconversion, #elearning or #onlinetraining.
To learn more, visit our Flash Conversion page on RPS.com.