News: Learning management systems sector is now a "buyer's market"

Cath Everett
Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone
Sift Media
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A combination of increasing commoditisation and slowing growth in the adoption of learning management systems is making it a buyer’s market, research has indicated.

A report conducted by Bersin & Associates predicted that sector growth was likely to drop to 10.4% globally between 2012 and 2013 compared with 14.7% between 2011 and 2012 – although the figure would be more like 12% in Europe, the Middle East and Africa over the year ahead.
 
The drop in sales was the result of a weak global economy, a saturated large enterprise market and a proliferation of new players in the Software-as-a-Service space.
 
Josh Bersin, president and chief executive at the research firm, said that these factors, combined with the increasing commoditisation of LMS functionality, would “give buyers the edge in this market”.
 
But the problem was that many of them were currently “struggling” to understand a “complex and dynamic” sector stocked with more than 500 vendors, of which there were no clear leaders, he added.
 
The study entitled ‘Learning Management Systems 2013: The Definitive Buyer’s Guide to the Global Market for Learning Management Solutions’ revealed that no single provider had a total market share of more than 9%, although European suppliers, if taken together, accounted for about 12.9% of the market overall – a figure that is expected to grow to 16.3% next year.
 
This situation meant that buyers no longer needed to “stick with a major global provider”, but could find suitable offerings “in their own backyard”, Bersin said.
 
For example, nearly half of large organisations were now buying social platforms at the departmental level to enable personnel to learn more about them and test their effectiveness.
 
But such platforms were not yet integrated into more mainstream learning management systems and so were being purchased as standalone offerings.
 
 

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