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Online learning booms in the wake of COVID-19; but market needs to evolve faster finds Fosway's 2021 9-Grid™ for Learning Systems

Cirencester, UKLearning NewsFosway

With online learning now the only game in town as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, the full impact on the learning technology market is assessed for the first time in the new 2021 Fosway 9-Grid™ for Learning Systems. Released today by Fosway Group, Europe’s #1 HR industry analyst, the research highlights the significant consequences of the shift to remote working and learning.

2021 Fosway 9-Grid™ for Learning Systems
2021 Fosway 9-Grid™ for Learning Systems 

Vendors have seen a 200-300% increase in the utilisation of their platforms as organisations pushed all learning online. There has been huge pressure on L&D teams and their providers alike to provide immediate answers, faster implementation times and rapid time to value for online learning projects. This situation has generated some creative, customer-centric online solutions, such as COVID-19 content portals made available to organisations at little or no cost, and platform rollouts that take weeks not months.

But there remains a tendency to cling to out-dated labels, in particular the artificial distinction between LMS and LXP. In 2020, before COVID-19 hit Europe, Fosway rejected the LXP label as confusing marketing hype, reclassifying systems into Learning System Suites and Specialists. One year on, and a nine-month deep research project and all the evidence proves this was the right move.

LXP was not a bad idea – it just didn’t ever do what it said on the tin. Deconstructing the realities under the LXP story shows that corporate buyers need to be smarter about understanding what aspect of the ‘learning experience’ they are actually trying to disrupt - and how. Buyers also need to understand what truly differentiates the vendors in really achieving those outcomes. Ultimately, Suites and Specialists is a better way of understanding the market and the options available to corporate buyers.

David Wilson, CEO of Fosway said, “2020 turned out to be challenging beyond any expectations, but the Learning Systems industry has truly stepped up and proved its value to customers. The 2021 9-Grid™ for Learning Systems reflects both the success of vendors in adversity, as well as new innovations, new entrants and new disruptive specialisms.”

He continues, “The LMS and LXP labels now need to go for good. As we predicted, the convergence of modern learning systems has continued apace. As Specialists continue to backfill their solutions with traditional LMS functionality, the Suites are integrating specialist capabilities to be more disruptive. Where they meet in the middle is hugely confusing for buyers.”

Wilson concludes, “Ultimately, we need to recalibrate what is meant by the term ‘learning experience’ which is thrown around so casually – but, in reality, is about so much more than a nice learning system and nice learning content.”

The full 9-Grid™ for Learning Systems report can be downloaded online now.

Fosway’s CEO, David Wilson, and senior analyst, Fiona Leteney, will take questions on the research in a live online ‘Ask The Analyst’ session on 9 February 2021. Register for your free place here. Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis.

The 2021 Fosway 9-Grid™ for Digital Learning usually released in-line with the Learning Systems analysts, will be launched at the end of February.

Fosway will also be producing a new series of papers looking at disruptive learning specialisms and the wider learning ecosystem from February onwards.

About the Fosway 9-Grid™

The Fosway 9-Grid™ provides a unique assessment of the principal learning and talent supply options available to organisations in EMEA. Now in its eighth year, the analysis is based on extensive independent research and insights from the Fosway’s Corporate Research Network of over 150 customer organisations, including BP, HSBC, PwC, RBS, Sanofi, Shell and Vodafone.