Leveraging the Learning Technology Landscape

• 3 min read

66% of companies have poor or nonexistent learning strategies, and that’s a problem

Once upon a time, the learning technology landscape was narrow. There existed a relatively limited set of well-defined tools, including learning management systems (LMS) or authoring tools, and that was about it.

Things have changed. Between content platforms, virtual classrooms, collaborative learning tools, gamification tools, and massive open online courses (MOOCs), a wide array of learning technology tools are quite literally at our fingertips. Add to that the proliferation of new media formats and devices like smartphones and tablets within the workforce and the options are virtually endless.

This increasingly complex learning technology landscape means organizations need to be better equipped to understand and make decisions about their learning strategy to ensure the right solutions are deployed to generate results.

So, you don’t have a learning strategy in place?

According to Brandon Hall Group’s 2017 Learning Technology Study, two-thirds of companies don’t have a well-defined learning strategy or, worse, have no learning strategy at all. Furthermore, the report describes dismal satisfaction rates with technology across the entire human capital management (HCM) spectrum, with the greatest dissatisfaction attributed to LMSs in specific.

So what’s to be done? Plan, prepare, and strategize. Start here: Satisfaction with Learning Technology Inextricably Linked to Strategy and Planning, Brandon Hall Group’s latest report on learning technology.

Among other valuable insights, we’ve pulled out 3 key takeaways from the report  to get you primed:

1. Nothing is static: The learning technology landscape will grow more complex

Until recently, organizations only had to worry about the LMS – just one learning technology in what is now a crowded space. As David Wentworth, principal learning analyst at Brandon Hall Group, notes in the report, survey data used to indicate that 85% of companies had deployed an LMS. Now that there is a wide array of learning technology types, that number has dropped to less than 75%.

However, as we can see in the Brandon Hall Group chart below, LMS is still the most-adopted learning technology tool in this increasingly saturated field, and by a wide margin:

What does this tell us? Well, the report offers the full perspective, but what we know is that this complex field of learning technologies is only going to get more complex in the coming years which means customers need to be well armed to make informed business decisions that will help chart the course of success for their organizations and learners.

2. Show don’t tell: User experience & integrations

Of all the issues users are finding with learning technology, there are two key standouts according to the study. One is deficient user experience (UX), but this is not new. As we have reported before, UX is the weakest link in the learning chain, and many organizations learn that a poor experience for learners hurts user adoption and engagement rates significantly.  

The other factor relates to integrations. In this study, integration replaced UX as the top barrier to technology satisfaction. “This solidifies our findings that a strong technology strategy is required to integrate all of these learning solutions with each other and other systems throughout the business,” Wentworth notes, adding that 85% of survey respondents said integration capabilities are either essential or critical to an LMS.

3. Plan for success: Make your technology selection process work for you

Another key point the report touches on is that organizations aren’t putting enough thought, planning, or strategy behind their learning technology selection process. In the face of this increasingly complex learning technology landscape – not to mention the increasing sophistication of tools – it’s never been more important to have a well-developed selection process defined and followed to ensure the right tools are selected to set clients and learners up for success.

And yet, one-quarter of those companies that reported a neutral, somewhat ineffective, or very ineffective process noted that they had no formal technology selection team. Bottom line: having a formal selection team that includes team members from HR, IT, L&D, finance, and beyond is critical to finding a learning solution you won’t regret implementing.

Set your team up for success – download the complete report here: