In June and July of 2010, Learning Circuits ran a quick
survey on how readers were using their learning management systems
(LMSs). LC asked such questions as "Do you build or buy?"
"What system do you use?" and "What are the must-have features?"
Here are the results (based on 342 responses).
First, nearly 90 percent of respondents are using LMSs in their
organizations. This is merely an 8 percent increase over responses
to the 2009 survey.
Figure 1| Does Your Organization Use an LMS?
The 2010 results find that more than half (52.3 percent) of
respondents are purchasing rather than building (11.8 percent)
their systems, and nearly one-fourth (23.5 percent) are opting to
go with a hosted platform. Choosing an hosted solution was almost
double the 2009 figure (11.9 percent).
Figure 2| How Did Your Organization Acquire Its
And whether built or bought, the majority of respondents claim to
be satisfied with their current LMS, with 5.9 percent reporting in
at "very satisfied" and 41.2 percent at "satisfied." Although
generally satisfied, there was a major flip since the 2009 results
in the number of respondents who were satisfied versus very
satisfied (22.9 percent were very satisfied in 2009). Likewise, the
number of users claiming to be only "somewhat satisfied" saw a 10
percent increase over last year, moving from 25.6 percent in 2009
to 35.3 percent in 2010. Finally, some 15.4 report that they are
"very unsatisfied," with an additional 7.8 saying they are
Figure 3| How Satisfied Is Your Organization with Its
Usage and features
Currently, a majority of respondents (81.8 percent) are choosing to
go with a strict LMS rather than a strict learning content
management system (LCMS), with only 3 percent responding
positively. And only a little more than one-tenth (12.1 percent),
however, are using an LMS/LCMS combo. This is a significant change
over 2009, which had a larger number of LMS/LCMS combo offerings.
Figure 4| How Is Your LMS Configured?
Given this data, it's no surprise that the number 1 reason
respondents report for implementing an LMS is to centralize the
management of learning activities (57.6 percent). However, this
number is down some 10 percent over 2009. All other reasons for
implementing an LMS fall a far second. Tracking regulatory
compliance did see an increase over 2009 numbers, coming in at
second in 2010, with some 33.3 percent weighing in. While measuring
training usage and measuring employee performance fell in
importance in 2010, with only 21.2 percent reporting in. (See
complete list below.)
Figure 5| Why Did Your Organization Implement an LMS
When asked to rank the most valuable features, assessment and
testing topped the chart at 54.5 percent, followed closely by
reporting at 51.5 percent. Coming in at third place was compliance
tracking at 39.4 percent. This was a decided change over 2009
figures in which content management ranked number 2 and reporting
number 3. Surprisingly, collaboration tool integration was one of
the lowest ranked features, coming in at only 9 percent. (See
complete list below.)
Figure 6| What Are the Most Valuable Features of Your LMS
This year there are two main challenges surrounding LMS
implementation and usage: system performance and content
integration (both garnering 35.3 percent). Perhaps due to the
growing number of hosted installations, customization requirements
fell more than 20 percent since the 2009 (from 46.6 to 23.5
percent), falling a distance fourth employee buy-in (32.4 percent)
and system administration (29.4 percent). (See complete list
Figure 7| What Are the Biggest Challenges in Implementing
Your LMS (select all that apply)?
Whether a reaction to the economic upswing, a result of
satisfaction rankings, or a combination of factors, it appears that
more organizations are planning to acquire a new system. Whereas in
2009, 44 percent of respondents opted to keep their current
systems, only one-third (33.3 percent) plan to do so in 2010.
However, nearly one-third (30.6 percent) of respondents do plan to
purchase a new system, up nearly 20 percent over 2009 (13.2
percent). Meanwhile, only 8.2 percent are planning to upgrade their
current system, as opposed to 24.2 percent in last year's results.
Finally, a relatively stable number of respondents (11.1 percent)
are making plans to build something in-house.
Figure 8| What Are Your Plans for the Next 12