LMS Predictions 2015: Mother of All Crystal Ball Picks

By Gordon Johnson, VP Marketing, Expertus

Gordon Johnson, VP Marketing, Expertus

Gordon Johnson,
VP Marketing,

“It’s difficult to make predictions — especially about the future.”
– Danish Proverb

Forecasts are naturally uncertain. But for training professionals, one thing is always a sure bet. At the start of each year, the future of learning management systems takes center stage, as a wave of “crystal ball” blog posts, reports and webinars rolls across the business landscape.

All that advice can be overwhelming — especially this year, with so many predictions fueled by next-gen learning innovation as well as increased LMS demand. So, to help you focus on the most relevant insights, we’ve compiled a “top picks” list from the industry’s leading voices:

“Top-of-the-Top” Learning Technology Predictions 2015

1) Mobile Learning Goes Full Throttle
“Despite all the hype…only 10% of companies are heavy users of mobile learning functionality. Expect that to change over the next 12 months, as companies are signaling an increased focus on mobile learning apps, mobile web and apps for performance support, and wider structural changes.”  − Capterra

“The five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for worldwide mobile learning products and services is 18.2%, and revenues will more than double to $12.2 billion by 2017.”   Ambient Insight Research Report 

“What we once called ‘mobile’ is now becoming ‘the internet.’ This is not to say web applications are going away — but rather the focus of new applications should now be ‘mobile first.’ Mobile learning tools will likely evolve into learning “apps” which look more like on-the-job performance support. Learning embedded in work (learning events which pop up based on an employee’s activities) will likely start to become common.”  − Josh Bersin, Bersin by Deloitte

LMS Predictions Crystal Ball Flickr“Expect a huge increase in LMS vendors with responsive mobile. On/off synch will also grow substantially. I foresee an increase in instructor (on-site) functionality, and manager (on-site/on-the-floor) feature sets. Also you will see more admin functionality, which is extremely rare now. Lastly, I expect to see more learner functionality, including social and gamification with a touch of video.”  − Craig Weiss, E-Learning 24/7

Responsive mobile design (learning content that automatically resizes to each device without zooming, scrolling or downloading to view) will continue to outpace mobile apps, and become the de facto mobile standard.”  − John Leh, Talented Learning

2) Organizations Apply Big Data for Individualized, Adaptive Learning
“One of the key themes we are hearing from CLOs in larger organizations is targeting — the process by which the learner/manager/colleague/system might ‘target’ learning of a learner, in real time. Personalization revolves around learner choices and preferences. Targeting adds a second level of choice, selection and sequence to create a faster time-to-competence pathway.”  − Elliott Masie, The Masie Center

“Expect 2015 to be the year more employers move away from one-size-fits all videos and recorded presentations, and towards individualized e-learning. This goes beyond personal learning environments, and into offering multiple paths for individual learners to complete a single training objective.”  − Capterra

“57% of employees expect learning to be more ‘just in time’ than it was 3 years ago.”  − Corporate Executive Board (CEB)

“LMS providers are starting to deliver big data analytics to provide learning recommendations and smart learning paths.”  − Josh Bersin, Bersin by Deloitte

“Adaptive learning is a methodology that breaks traditional models and allows employees to learn at their own pace — and we anticipate that this will continue to gain momentum in 2015. Employees can be monitored individually and in real-time to determine what learning approach will best suit their needs. It can be very effective at improving efficiency, as well as engagement and retention, because it allows employees to build confidence and overall expertise.”  − David Wentworth, Brandon Hall Group

“The opportunity is in leveraging big data analytics to curate intelligence to drive improvement in learning solutions. It’s in using analytics of a constituent’s data to provide relevant and targeted training.”  − Doug Harward, TrainingIndustry

Whats Big in Learning 2015 Poll Donald H Taylor LPI Blog

See original poll at Donald H. Taylor blog

3) Social and Collaborative Workflows Meld With LMS Environment
When the UK’s Learning and Performance Institute Chairman, Donald Taylor, asked in an open-ended blog poll, “What will be big in workplace learning in 2015?” readers chose “Collaborative Learning” as the top trend (13.41%), followed by “Personalization” (10.66%) and “Mobile Delivery (10.18%).  − Donald H. Taylor blog

“Companies are quickly embracing social media and collaboration tools to better engage employees and foster a learning culture. Although social has become mainstream, companies still lack the knowledge and insight around how to use these tools for learning and development. Of the 59% of companies using social for their learning strategies, only 24% say they are effective. One reason is that companies are limited in the social tools they are using. We predict, over the next year, organizations will need to invest in understanding the various uses of social, and select providers that can educate them in this process.”  − David Wentworth, Brandon Hall Group

“Collaboration is seeing unprecedented convergence because of mobility and the cloud. By year-end 2016, more than 75% of enterprises will require mobile collaboration solutions for their increasingly mobile workers.”  − Jim Lundy, Aragon Research

4) Gamification Continues Its Winning Streak
“The use of mobile app gaming to reinforce training is gaining traction. We have found embedding gaming within training improves learner engagement and retention. Using the tool post-training extends the shelf-life of the program and increases likelihood of application on the job.”  − Doug Harward, TrainingIndustry

“Expect to see an increase in what you can do with gamification. Right now it is mainly focused on courses, content and assessments. However, I see gamification tied to:

– Various social features and functionality
– Some type of learning mastery
– Badge libraries (when an LMS includes built-in badges)

The big bang will be tied to social and with other functions in the system.”  − Craig Weiss, E-Learning 24/7

5) “Employee Only” Learning Goes Over The Wall
“2015 is going to be the year organizations focus on their extended enterprise audiences — channel partners, distributors, customers and prospects — to achieve competitive separation. Training and certifying your extended enterprise audiences provides a huge measurable return on investment. Most talent management LMS vendors ignore this segment.”  John Leh, Talented Learning

“As organizations expand globally, they will need to develop a standard approach to learning, but also custom learning based on divergent cultures, traditions, and regulations. Organizations will need to consider granularity to address the short-term learning needs of various regions. Learners will want more focused content.”  − David Wentworth, Brandon Hall Group

6) Assessments and Analytics Prove Learning’s Business Value
“With record amounts of money pouring into L&D, increased scrutiny comes, as well. This means more skills testing and more real-world practice during and after training.”  − Capterra

“While CLOs generally will see increased budgets, most will focus on improved outcomes and promoting links between learning and business strategy, targeting key investments that support efficiency and relevance. If money were no object, CLOs would include assessment, performance consulting and analytics on their wish list. They are expressing a belief that learning needs to be measured to demonstrate effectiveness and ensure it meets business goals.”  − Cushing Anderson, IDC, via CLO Magazine

See next-gen learning in action. Watch the ExpertusONE web demo now

See next-gen learning in action. Watch the ExpertusONE web demo now

How To Find a Future-Friendly LMS This Year
If you’re one of the many enterprise organizations that will trade-up to a next-gen LMS in the year ahead, we recommend you keep this list of predictions handy. In fact, we encourage you to ask any of the advisory organizations quoted above to recommend the best LMS options for you.

Regardless, when you speak with prospective vendors, be sure they provide a hands-on demonstration of their platform’s advanced functionality. Let them show you a sneak peek of the innovations that lie ahead on their roadmap. If you don’t see evidence that their product supports the 6 trends we’ve featured here, tread carefully. Your organization’s time and money is probably better invested elsewhere.

Your Turn
What do you see on the horizon for learning technologies? Do you agree with these industry predictions? What kind of LMS advancements matter most to your organization’s future? Please share your comments below!

Note from Gordon: Why wait for the future to gain business value from next-gen learning technologies? See how your organization can benefit today from ExpertusONE LMS, watch the online demo now, or contact us for a personalized consultation.

Feature Image Credit: Flickr

3 thoughts on “LMS Predictions 2015: Mother of All Crystal Ball Picks

  1. Pingback: LMS Predictions: Analysts Look at the Learning Platform Horizon | Learning In The Cloud

  2. Pingback: LMS Tech Today: What Do Learning Leaders Say? | Learning In The Cloud

  3. Pingback: LMS Selection Advice: Who Do You Trust? | Learning In The Cloud

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