No (LMS) Love Lost

People hate their Learning Management Systems. I’m sure this is not shocking news to anyone; the litany of complaints about any given platform seems to be getting longer every year. In a recent Brandon Hall Group webinar, a poll of attendees found there was not much love for current LMS solutions. Only 8% of respondents said their company’s employees loved their LMS. About a third said that folks just don’t care. The scary part, though, is that 27% said they outright hated their system.

Is that the best we can hope for? That people just won’t care, but at least they don’t hate the technological embodiment of the entire learning function? It looks like organizations are no longer willing to sit still and just accept the fact that their LMS is not living up to their expectations. One year ago, the Brandon Hall Group LMS Trends Survey found that one-third of organizations were considering replacing their LMS. In the 2012 survey, that jumped to 47%.

Combine that with the fact that less than half of companies gave their LMS a score of 4 or 5 on a 5 point scale when with came to overall value and it is clear that something is not right. The current climate of expiring contracts, numerous alternatives and new technologies has created  an atmosphere conducive to replacement, where organizations no longer put up with sub-par LMS performance.

The Brandon Hall Group white paper, The Race to Replace, looks at all the reasons organizations have failed to fall in love with their LMS – poor reporting, outdated looks, poor support, etc. – and identifies the requirements they are looking for in a new solution. It also delves into what it takes to make the switch.

The wakeup call for providers is that companies are clearly more willing to make that switch than ever before. The fact that many of the existing solutions exist now in the Cloud, or at least as a SaaS solution, means that migration is perhaps not as burdensome as it might be for an installed solution. Many providers are recognizing this climate and are becoming very flexible when it comes to migrating data and content from an old system (I’ve heard the word free tossed around once or twice).

The data found in the 2012 LMS Trends Survey should signal at least two things: One, a growing number of companies are not happy with their LMS solutions, and they are more than willing to do something about it; and two, LMS providers need to pay attention to the factors causing this unrest or else they will rapidly begin to lose clients.

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