The Red Hot Market for Learning Management Systems
Updated: Mar 16
We just released our newest research on the corporate Learning Management Systems market and the numbers are astounding. The market is well over $2.5 billion and grew by over 21% this year.
These are big numbers, especially since the market grew by only 13% the prior year. Why all the growth? There are four big drivers:
First, corporate HR and talent managers are very heavily focused on corporate training.
The training industry as a whole grew by 15% this year , the highest growth rate since we started studying the market.
Why this growth? As the economy improves companies are struggling to reskill technical teams, sales teams, managers, and professionals at all levels to deal with accelerating changes in technology, leading to an ever-rapid need for people to reskill themselves.
Auto manufacturers are radically changing their products to become software-based electric vehicles. This means they have to largely reskill their engineering and manufacturing teams. workers need to learn Big Data technologies and advanced mathematics. Healthcare workers are constantly getting new technology to learn, and bio-science companies are constantly training people on new medicines and manufacturing. Even financial services companies are finding an increase in training due to new global regulations.
Second, the learning market is radically changing.
Today for the first time in nearly 15 years we have a huge array of new content companies and instructional content is everywhere. Most major universities are offering no cost or low cost online training and many new providers have emerged.
We just launched new free MOOC and most other experts are doing the same. So companies want modernized platforms which are easier to use, offer mobile learning, and tightly integrate with talent and collaboration systems. Our research shows that many LMS systems developed for the educational market are now reaching into the corporate space, a play which Blackboard started more than five years ago.
Third, learning platforms are in a replacement cycle.
Most LMS systems are 4-7 years old and our research shows that 61% of companies plan on replacing their learning platforms in the next 18 months, the most frequently cited product to be replaced.
LMS systems today are quite different from platforms only a few years ago. Today’s LMS is an online course catalog, an expert management system, a collaboration and knowledge sharing platform, and a content and talent management system. All this functionality has been integrated into the LMS, leaving companies with older products anxious to upgrade.
Fourth, there are hundreds of exciting new systems to choose from.
Despite all the mergers over the last year or so, we are tracking more than 500 LMS vendors around the world. This is an amazing number, driven by the fact that every single company with more than a few employees needs some type of training management system.
In the early days of this market the LMS market was focused on the needs of big complicated companies. At that point vendors were concerned about being gobbled up by ERP companies and losing their opportunity to grow. Today the market has expanded by 100-fold, driven largely by mid-sized and now even small companies. We had a simple LMS at Bersin & Associates, for example, and it was embedded in our online collaboration tool. So the learning platform market is getting bigger every year.
The LMS of the future is also coming along. New LMS vendors are now starting to build adaptive systems which run on mobile devices, they are now adding features for intelligent recommendations using Big Data analytics, they have new tools that embed learning right into your workflow, and they are starting to implement a new software interface called the Tin-Can API.
While the name Tin-Can may sound silly, this is very important technology. It lets you track any web-related activity for learning – so if you read a webpage, download a PowerPoint, take a quiz, or click on a game, the learning platform can keep track. This new technology means we will have very rich and deep “click streams” of learning data in these platforms, enabling the LMS to do even smarter things .
I remember the days when LMS products were simple online course catalogs that launched, tracked, and marked the completion of courses. This simple functionality now represents less than 10% of what an LMS will do, making it more important than ever for companies to invest in their learning systems.
As someone once said to me years ago, human beings will always have a desire to learn. In the corporate world, the new era of learning platforms is making this easier and more exciting than ever.
As a leading provider of talent development overall solutions and mobile learning in the Asia-Pacific region and Greater China, Cyberwisdom not only provides platform technology, but also has the largest customized course design and development team in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as more than 1,200 independent copyright ready-made general courseware.With extensive experience in the e-learning industry, we is committed to providing a full range and leading mobile learning solutions for enterprises, governments and educational institutions in Greater China and the entire Asia-Pacific region.