Shifting Trends in Buying Learning

The Panel
The Panel

My first session for this second day of Learning 2012 started with a session of shifting trends in buying learning.

Masie has been involved in a survey aroud the learning market place. According to him there is an anomaly: there are more dollars to buy learning than robust providers/suppliers that can deliver to their needs.

One example is the market for Learning Management Systems (LMSs). There is an increasing frustration from members of the Learning Consortium that their LMS cannot deliver video very well. People are ready to buy technology to create, edit and deliver video, but they can’t find the right vendor to buy it from. Another area where people want to spend is Performance Support. There isn’t a perception that there is a large number of solution providers who can deliver this. Ironically content is also hard to get nowadays. There has been a drying up of content providers (all of them are very verticalized). New ways of doing assessment (e.g. badging models) are also hard to buy. Most people want to use mobile learning as an on-the-job performance support and also see it as a way to connect staff. 87% of the respondents are interested in mobile, but the percentage of companies really doing something in the space is in the teens. A similar thing can be said about social and collaborative learning.

Masie also made an argument that e-books will be very prevalent in the future. Everybody has a tablet, but there is no decent model for corporate learning e-book creation. He is pushing Adobe to start creating software that will allow people to author their own learning e-books.

All in all this means there are massive opportunities for vendors in this marketplace.

After Masie’s introduction we had a small discussion on the topic. One thing that came up was the disconnect between relatively young and agile companies with innovative solutions and the traditional procurement processes of big companies. The panel also discussed that it is often difficult to make the step from a small pilot or proof of concept to the larger implementation. Unfortunately nobody seemed to have a really sharp idea on how to solve the conundrum.