By Jim Lundy
For many of you that I’ve worked with over the years, you know that for nearly the entire time I was at Gartner, Corporate Learning was one of the topics I covered (aka, LMS, LCMS Virtual Classroom, Learning Content). It wasn’t an easy topic to cover and over the years, I advised thousands of firms on their overall Learning Strategy. Of course, the question that always would come up is who should we work with and the tools to manage training, such as the LMS were a big part of our discussions. Now at Aragon Research, we are getting the same questions. That is why, following our highly successful first Aragon Research Globe on Enterprise Social Software, Aragon Research will be constructing a brand new Aragon Research Globe for Learning Systems. Of course, the immediate ask will be why and the answer is simple. Learning, while part of a Human Capital Management process, is also very hard to do well. It is also becoming part of the business process.
LMS vs Talent Suites
Of course, I’ve heard the comments about standalone Learning vs Talent Suites for years. Resistance is futile, Learning will be absorbed. In many cases, it has, since a number of the early pioneers of Learning have been sold. Plateau is now part of SuccessFactors, which is owned by SAP. Learn.com got bought by Taleo, which is now owned by Oracle. Outstart got bought by Kenexa, which was quickly snapped up by IBM. There are still many standalone firms that offer Learning and numerous modules of a Talent Management Suite.
Learning is Part of Knowledge Management
The challenge with Learning is that it isn’t easy to implement and to do it successfully without a lot of focus and hard work. For all of the people that cover HCM and Talent, many don’t understand Learning or the way that it is evolving. But Learning, while it might be bundled as part of a larger suite, is still about knowledge transfer. So it is often much harder to execute a Learning Program, than a Performance Management rollout.
Learning has always been part of Knowledge Management taxonomy, but often it is siloed. Today, people are learning more and learning faster because of collaborative technologies such as Social Networking.
Learning is Social
As we prepare our journey to constructing the Aragon Research Globe for Learning Systems, we have seen the need for easier to use systems that are more social. We have noticed how many firms are trying to leverage video inside of their Enterprise Social Network. On top of that, Learning due to how content can be shared socially, is getting easier. Even with all of that, there are still big tasks that need to take place to ensure a workforce is on top of its game. Learning is as important as it ever was and that is one of the reasons we are seeing new vendors emerge to challenge the legacy ones.
Learning needs to be Easy
The biggest complaint I hear from end users is that Learning isn’t easy or that at least the tools they have to access Learning are not easy to use. That is probably why there are new players emerging who stress the need for ease of use and simplicity. The LMS Lite space is still alive and well and growing as people look for more solutions that include LMS functionality but help them to drive their business. Sales is one of the areas we see a significant amount of traction.
We’ll be sending out the survey to the identified participants for the Aragon Research Globe for Corporate Learning this week. As we do the research and rate the participants, look for some hot new research around Social Learning and the role of Video in Learning. It is an exciting time for Learning Professionals, because it is actually getting easier (and in many cases cheaper) to deliver great learning. The LMS, the Social aspects and delivery will all be some of the things we analyze.