2021 Fosway 9-Grid™

Online Learning Booms in the Wake of COVID-19

Cirencester (UK), February 2021 - 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. Recently released by Fosway Group, a leading European HR industry analyst, the research highlights the significant consequences of the shift to remote working and learning.

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.

However, a tendency remains 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, a deep nine-month 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 achieving these 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 vendors’ success 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."