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Economic pressures hit digital learning market

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Budgets down, lengthening buying decisions, higher justification bar; economic pressures are having ‘significant impact’ on the sector; Interview with Myles Runham, Senior Analyst, Fosway.

Myles Runham, Senior Analyst at Fosway, joins Learning News with a report into the digital learning market
Myles Runham, Senior Analyst at Fosway, joins Learning News with a report into the digital learning market 

Myles Runham, Senior Analyst at Fosway, joins Learning News with Fosway's annual report into the digital learning market. It reveals how economic pressures are significantly impacting the sector.

The report explains: ‘It has been a difficult year across the digital learning market. Budgetary pressures have weighed heavily on customer activity as many budgets were reduced or held flat. Buying decisions have taken longer, especially for larger projects, and often require senior-level approval and stronger justification with tangible evidence of likely impact. Vendors have had to work harder to win new business and to expand activity with existing customers. Set against the previous years of pandemic-induced buoyancy in digital spending, it has been a much tougher period. Double-digit growth, common in prior 9-Grid™ reports, has become something of a rarity and many vendors have seen flat or declining revenues. Expectations for the coming year are similar.’

The report looks at market trends, solution trends and positions around forty learning vendors in the market according to their performance, potential, market presence, total cost of ownership and trajectory.

2024 market trends include:

  • Economic pressures showing significant impact on the sector 
  • Expectations of demonstrable value for learning intensifying
  • The opportunity and threat of AI
  • Skills and skills intelligence increasingly setting the agenda for digital learning
  • Increasing complexity in the market as vendors seek to extend their offerings into other segments
  • Aggregation of off-the-shelf content libraries
  • Managed services competition growing for enterprise customers
  • Off-the-shelf content more resilient than bespoke services

2024 solution trends include:

  • AI is driving automation in the content workflow
  • Signs AI is creating downward pressure on content pricing
  • Personal conversations signal a new design paradigm
  • Interest in adaptive learning continues to grow
  • The ability to practise and apply skills with feedback is vital
  • Real solution differentiation still relies on specialist capabilities and proprietary tools
  • Provenance of off-the-shelf content sources an imperative
  • Competition for strategic partnership intensifying

Vendors positioned on the 9-Grid™ include: Access, BAD, Go1, GoFluent, GP Strategies, Hemsley Fraser, IMC, Jam Pan, Kallidus, Kineo, Learning Pool, LinkedIn, Mind Tools, Netex, Omniplex, Saffron, Skillable, Speexx, Sponge, tts. 


Programme links
Fosway 9-Grid™ report for digital learning
‘Ask The Analyst’ with David Wilson and David Perring, Fosway, 22 April 2024