The LMS still dominates even with the advent of many new technologies, cementing its position as the foundation of the learning technology stack

Brighton, UK, March 22, 2021 Totara, a leading provider of enterprise learning, engagement and performance management technology, today announced the results of its Learning Systems Pulse Survey. The research was commissioned by Totara and conducted by Training Industry, Inc. online and through email invitations from mid-December 2020 through early February 2021. The survey took the pulse of a cross-section of 270 US HR leaders, training managers, and IT managers.

High Favourability Ratings for the LMS

Regarding HR leaders’ perceptions of their LMS, the study revealed the following:

  • 77 percent surveyed rated their current LMS provider moderately favourable (21%) to very favourable (56%).
  • Survey respondents gave their current LMS an average Net Promoter Score (NPS) of +9 (-100 to +100). This is significantly higher than previous Net Promoter evaluations of the industry such as the 2018 Starr Conspiracy Report in which organizations gave their current learning technology an average NPS score of -57.

Despite overall findings pointing to a significant improvement in HR leaders’ perceptions of their current LMS, an NPS score of +9 is considered a medium NPS score versus a high score in the 30 to 100 range. This shows LMSs have come a long way since the 2018 reports, but there’s plenty of room and opportunity for LMS providers to improve their standing with current customers and prospects.

The Learning Systems Pulse survey also revealed HR and training leaders see their current LMS provider in a positive light when it comes to market perception.

  • 73 percent surveyed rated their current LMS as an Industry Leader (37%) or Gaining Momentum (36%) in the marketplace.

Additionally, HR and training leaders feel they are doing right by their organizations and employees.

  • 79 percent survey said that the training programs they’re implementing are always (46%) to frequently (33%) effective.

Looking ahead, 76 percent surveyed said they plan to increase their training budget in FY2021.

The LMS still dominates the learning technology stack

When asked which software was currently in their organization’s learning technology stack, survey respondents shared the following insights:

  1. LMS: 63 percent
  2. eLearning Course Library: 52 percent
  3. Training Delivery Platform: 44 percent

Breaking the learning technology stack data down further, 72 percent surveyed said their organization had three or more installed learning software systems.

“The favourable perceptions HR and training leaders shared about learning systems is encouraging, especially the dramatic improvement in the NPS score for LMSs, which is a crucial benchmark for gauging customer and user sentiment,” said Richard Wyles, CEO of Totara. “This survey also shows how far the LMS has advanced in its evolution to become the hub of a thriving learning ecosystem. The key to success going forward is to simplify the stack with fewer or single platforms that are able to provide the full range of the learning, performance and engagement capabilities that organizations need.”

The need for LMS adaptability

Returning to Net Promoter Scores, we can see the important need for LMS adaptability and scalability in some of the quotes collected from survey respondents who gave their LMS lower than average NPS ratings.

Following are anonymous statements from survey respondents and the industries they represent.

“It does the job, but could be more effective, more user friendly and easier to manage than it is now. It is rudimentary given the size and scope of our organization.” – from the hospitality industry, gave a Net Promoter Score of 5 out of 10.

“It’s difficult to customize the lessons for our business.” – from the business services/consulting industry, gave a Net Promoter Score of 6 out of 10.

“It is not flexible with what we need for providing training resources to our clients.” – from the healthcare industry, gave a Net Promoter Score of 5 out of 10.

For more information about the LMS market landscape, download the buyer’s guide on How to Choose an LMS or a Learning Platform.


About Totara
Totara builds employee engagement, learning, and performance management technologies that enable large multinational corporations, government entities, and mid-market companies to deliver enterprise-level talent and workforce experiences. Totara’s Talent Experience Platform unifies a transformational learning management system (LMS), a user-centric learning experience platform (LXP), and a comprehensive performance management system under a single and highly adaptable architecture. Totara’s flexible architecture gives organizations the freedom to innovate, the freedom to choose, and unlocks critical resources for reinvestment into where it really counts.

By Lisa Baker, Senior Editor

Senior Editor Lisa Baker is the owner of Need to See it Publishing Group, providing contract news for business and news sites across the UK. Lisa is an experienced HR writer and commentator, editing HR publications for more than 5 years.