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Is the LMS DOA?

If you’ve encountered references to the 2017 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends report, you might think it is. Headlines like, “The LMS Market Is Quickly Losing Ground,” and “Traditional eLearning is Dead,” have prompted concerned association leaders to ask me: “Why should I invest in an LMS if the technology is dying?”

Is the technology dying? Yes and No. Here’s what’s happening.

classroom teaching

Corporate LMS Systems Must Evolve or Die

Corporate training represents a large portion of the workforce continuing education market. Virtual and eLearning formats are quickly gaining ground on in-person classroom training requiring a huge investment in technology. [Training Mag Report] The systems that deliver corporate eLearning are large-scale enterprise packages with an identity crisis (Are they HR systems measuring employee analytics? Are they learning deployment systems? Are they expensive compliance training check-boxes?). And they struggle to deliver the one thing corporate CEOs are demanding: Meaningful learning that results in measurable impact.

Deloitte correctly points out the aged technology serving the corporate training market is expensive, rigid and learning design resistant – it will never meet the needs of the modern learner. It’s not that we no longer need a system to manage eLearning.  It’s that the old LMS technology must be replaced with flexible solutions that deliver content on demand, offering ongoing development opportunities. Just placing classroom training online and requiring an employee click through 60 screens is not sufficient (or in any scenario desirable). That is the “traditional eLearning” that is dead. Modern learners expect to consume digital content anywhere, anytime, micro, mobile — designed for the channel of delivery.

Which is why Deloitte predicts the LMS giants will be replaced by agile learning systems.

Market-Facing LMS Solutions are Disrupting the Corporate Market

The LMS solutions serving associations, market-facing providers, embody the leading-edge agility corporate learning leaders are clamoring for.

What corporations want that association LMSs offer:

  • Cloud-based platforms
  • Learning formats the embrace advances in learning sciences to deliver content for how brains learn and behavior is changed
  • Mobile first delivery
  • MicroLearning
  • Analytics that track learning is happening and outcomes are met
  • Interval learning delivery for reinforcement
  • Content curation capabilities
  • Compatible with multiple media formats
  • Social learning features, including content sharing
  • Modern interface that drives voluntary learner engagement

Corporate CLOs realize delivering one-off eLearning courses is ineffective. Workforce dynamics require rapid skill development which necessitates technology that supports ongoing learning.

What Does This Mean For Associations?

What they want, we’ve got.

The options available to associations are on the leading edge of impactful online learning delivery. These systems are not on the brink of distinction. Quite the opposite. They will become the next driving force for how effective digital learning is done.

In fact, instead of hesitating to invest in learning technology, now may be the best time to build a robust eLearning portfolio. Consider your prospects for partnering with corporations in your industry who may be interested in licensing excellent eLearning for a win-win.

To learn more about Blue Sky’s LMS capabilities, click here.


Tracy King, MA, CAE, CVEP

As Chief Learning Strategist & Founder of InspirEd, Tracy leverages her more than 17 years in the education industry for associations interested in increasing their relevance and revenue with meaningful live, online, and mobile learning programs. Tracy specializes in the intersection of learning science and technology. She’s a thought leader in education strategy and learning experience design. In addition, Tracy offers training to instructional design teams, university faculty, and at conferences to promote leading edge practices developing learning experiences that make a measurable difference. For more information please visit


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