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Adoption, Preference and Practice: A Demand-Side Snapshot of Learning Management Systems

February 2004
Author:  Michael Brennan

LMS Penetration
The LMS market is fairly well penetrated, with three out of every four organizations with more than 1,000 employees currently using a system(s). However, this market is by no means mature. Fully 47% of buyers have had their systems for fewer than two years, which indicates that the market has indeed expanded recently as organizations have rapidly purchased and implemented systems.

Spending to Date
In most organizations, the LMS is a training-driven purchase. However, our survey results suggest growing involvement on the part of lines of business and senior management. These numbers suggest training (by force or by choice) is becoming a better partner with others in the organization. It also indicates that the LMS decision is a difficult, high-value, and high-cost item.
Historically, LMSs have taken several months to implement. Needs that drive LMS adoption take time to address. Those related to changes in business processes and corporate culture may often be beyond an LMS service provider's control or level of expertise. Indeed, for most of the LMS buyers IDC has worked with in the past, services (e.g., customization and integration) rather than hardware and software comprise the majority of implementation costs. Some customers fully expect the implementation process to take as long as it does. Such customer preparedness and vendors' level setting of expectations can mitigate the factors leading to cost overruns and an overall bad impression of the experience.
Such customer preparedness and vendors' level setting of expectations can mitigate the factors leading to cost overruns and an overall bad impression of the experience.

Adoption, Preference and Practice: A Demand-Side Snapshot of Learning Management Systems