New Bersin & Associates Research Projects Global Learning Management Systems Market to Grow at Nearly Three Times the Rate of the U.S. Market in 2011

LMS Enterprise-class Market Consolidates, while Growth in Number of Providers Splinters the Market Overall

Dec 15, 2010, 08:00 ET from Bersin & Associates

OAKLAND, Calif., Dec. 15, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Bersin & Associates, a world-class research and consulting firm that empowers HR organizations to drive bottom-line impact, today announced that the global Learning Management Systems (LMS) market is likely to grow at nearly three times the rate of the U.S. market in 2011. The findings are included in Bersin & Associates' new comprehensive research report, Learning Systems 2011: The Definitive Buyer's Guide to the Global Market for Learning Management Solutions.

Bersin & Associates also found that the overall current $1 billion LMS market is maturing and consolidating among larger organizations as businesses replace their older learning platforms with integrated talent management systems and social learning tools.  At the same time, a major influx of new innovative companies is entering the LMS market, causing it to become more competitive as organizations look to expand their LMS platform to address internal social networking, knowledge sharing, expertise directories, and collaborative learning.  As a result, the largest player now commands less than 10 percent of the overall market.

"The LMS market has expanded to one of total learning platforms," said Josh Bersin, president and chief executive officer, Bersin & Associates. "The U.S. LMS market is reinventing itself as a market for formal, informal and social learning.  And while the market appears to be mature, it actually is re-emerging as companies replace their legacy LMS systems with integrated talent and social learning platforms. In addition, the market is now growing more rapidly outside of the United States and we expect this disparity in growth to continue."

Bersin & Associates' study found healthy growth in both North American-focused and global LMS revenues this year. The total global market, including North America, is expected to grow 9 percent to about $1 billion in 2010.  About two-thirds of overall 2010 LMS revenue came from North America and one-third from elsewhere.  Bersin & Associates anticipates that in 2011, the global LMS market will grow in the range of 7 percent to 11 percent, versus 2 percent to 5 percent for North America.

The research also found that horizontal and vertical specialists are gaining major market share.  For example, the study found that Blackboard -- long the clear dominant provider in education -- has made steady progress in corporate learning, expanding its footprint in departmental applications.

"The trend of providers making significant headway in the unique needs of particular verticals is nowhere more evident than in healthcare, where players such as MC Strategies are emerging," said David Mallon, principal analyst, Bersin & Associates, and author of the study.  "Some evidence indicates that healthcare might be leading the way in cutting-edge areas such as mobile learning."

To provide insight and help its members better understand the learning systems market, identify key provider solutions, and plan for successful implementations, Bersin & Associates invited more than 100 providers of learning systems globally to participate in this research, and ultimately analyzed data from nearly 70 providers. Bersin & Associates also conducted an extensive, qualitative survey that captured responses on learning system adoption and customer experiences from more than 150 learning and development and information technology professionals.  These qualitative discussions validated the following additional findings:

  • The LMS continues to be one of the "lowest satisfaction systems" of any HR software application. While most companies are satisfied that the LMS increases their productivity and that the solutions meet their business needs, the biggest pain points are the same as in past studies:  reporting, customizations, integration, and overall usability.  These same issues continue to drag down customer satisfaction year after year.
  • Managing e-learning and better training administration still dominate purchase drivers for LMS. While trends toward talent management and continuous learning are the future of this space, the major business drivers that prompt buyers to make a purchase remain the same as in past studies – the basics.
  • Adaptability and its supporting partner, Software-as-a-Service, are now critical market drivers. Solution providers that offer their applications in the SaaS delivery model are poised to capture market share at the expense of on-premise options, even for the largest of buyers.  Staying power in the market over the long term will increasingly come from the level of adaptability offered.    
  • Integrated talent management is becoming the fastest-growing of the new market segments, and it is definitely here to stay.  It is now a mainstream concept in North America; and the rest of the world looks to be on the same path.  As talent management adoption grows, the market for talent management suites is consuming a major portion of the LMS market, especially for larger organizations; and it is driving intense and high profile consolidation at the top end of the LMS market.  Recent combinations including Taleo and, and SumTotal and Softscape are both evidence of this trend.

For a complimentary copy of Learning Systems 2011: Executive Summary, go to:

The full report, Learning Systems 2011: The Definitive Buyer's Guide to the Global Market for Learning Management Solutions, is available for $1,495 for a PDF and $1,695 for a hard copy. For more details, go to

Register to join analyst David Mallon for his online webinar at 2 p.m. on January 20, 2011, Evolution of the Learning System: How it Affects You, at

Those interested in learning more about Bersin & Associates or its WhatWorks® membership may email or call (510) 251-4400.

For media queries, email or call (415) 465-2711.

About Bersin & Associates

Bersin & Associates empowers HR and learning organizations to drive bottom-line impact through world-class research and consulting. The company's WhatWorks® membership gives human resources, learning, and talent acquisition professionals the information and tools they need to drive change in their organizations as strategic business partners.

Bersin & Associates members use our insights and tools to benchmark themselves against best practices, design and implement programs across the HR and learning spectrum and select and implement systems.  More than 5,000 organizations worldwide, including more than half of the Fortune 100, use Bersin & Associates research and consulting to guide their learning, talent, and human resources strategies.

Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link.

Josh Bersin

SOURCE Bersin & Associates