The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly – What’s Next for LMS?

whats-next-for-the-lmsI recently attended the ‘NextGen LMS Conference’ in Austin, Texas, to better understand the current challenges companies face with todays’ LMS, and find out how the NextGen LMS is evolving to better meet the needs of our changing business environment. Here’s what I found…


  • The 70,20,10 rule of learning. The NextGen LMS has started to assist in the 20% of informal learning and the 70% of on-the-job learning.
  • Social learning is gaining acceptance. Companies have been afraid of what employees might post on a social learning site but the fear is worse than the reality. Companies are now seeing employees collaborate, share and learn online together. This is truly harnessing the power of employees.
  • Gamification continues to gain traction as companies look for ways to engage learners.
  • BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is both an opportunity and a challenge for many companies. Laws and attitudes are evolving towards hourly associates using their own device whenever they want for learning.


  • Lack of linkage between training and business metrics was a common theme. Users want access to data that can measure training success against business objectives, such as reducing errors & omissions, improving productivity, meeting sales goals, etc.
  • Mobility continues to be a challenge for may companies. Many LMS systems still have a “Mobile Last” mentality.
  • A lack of multi-lingual support. Global multi-cultural companies need multi-lingual functionality to engage their workforce in their 1st language.


  • Most people I spoke with were unhappy with their current LMS. It was unreal how universal this attitude was.
  • Most people think their LMS is “ugly”. Employees complain about it and companies pay extra to create prettier custom front-ends.
  • Upgrades are cumbersome, with some companies reporting outages of up to 2 weeks.

In short, companies are looking to bring learning to their teams with greater engagement and mobility while measuring the success of learning with business metrics. Maybe our business needs are evolving faster than the LMS?

Written by Phil Menary

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