The Evolution of the LMS: More Learning Management Systems Are Now Serving as Career-Planning Tools

By Castellano, Stephanie | Talent Development, November 2014 | Go to article overview

The Evolution of the LMS: More Learning Management Systems Are Now Serving as Career-Planning Tools


Castellano, Stephanie, Talent Development


Spending on learning management systems will grow 21 percent in 2014, totaling more than $2.5 billion, according to research from Bersin by Deloitte. Since 2012, global spending on LMSs has increased by a whopping 52 percent.

The LMS market is growing rapidly in all geographies and segments, but "The big story here is rebounding growth of LMS sales in larger organizations in North America," says David Mallon, head of research at Bersin by Deloitte. A key reason for this is that the LMS is evolving from a training administration tool to a platform for integrating talent management processes.

These "talent management suites" can be used as career-planning tools that connect employees with internal development resources and opportunities--whether that's an e-learning course, an internal competency model, a profile of a senior colleague who can serve as a mentor, or details about the skills required for a certain management position. They also can be used for storing and interpreting data from performance reviews, which helps HR and managers identify or even predict skills gaps.

"Career pathing" is quickly becoming the feature most requested of talent management systems, says Mallon. Turning the LMS into a comprehensive professional development tool is supposed to improve retention by facilitating employees' mobility within the organization, although there is no research yet to support that theory. …

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