There are many times in life where in order to get something good, you need to pay a premium. My personal experience is shoes. Whether for me or my kids, I fight the constant battle of not wanting to spend too much, yet wanting to get something that lasts more than two months. When I buy the cheap ones, I end up having to buy them twice as often because they don’t last. It’s the old adage, “You get what you pay for.” Brandon Hall Group launched our most recent LMS Trends Survey to find out, among other things, if this axiom holds up for learning management systems.

In general, satisfaction rates for LMS solutions are not overwhelmingly high. About 48% of organizations in the survey sample of 457 indicated they were planning on switching to a new provider. On top of that, just 45% gave their solution high marks on overall value for price.

Diving a little deeper, we wanted to see if price played a role in these ratings. Do organizations that pay more like their platforms better? When it comes to “bang for the buck,” the results are clear. About 60% of organizations that pay less than $5 per learner for their solutions give their systems high ratings (4 or 5 on a 5-point scale) for overall value for price. For those organizations paying north of $20 per learner, just 41% give their LMS high ratings for overall value for price.

The story is the same if we look at the cost of the LMS as a percentage of the overall learning budget. For companies where the LMS takes up less than 5% of the budget, 68% give high value for price. For those where the LMS is a bigger piece of the training pie, the number is 42%.

While solution providers obviously bear responsibility for meeting buyers’ needs, purchasing organizations can play a much larger role in the success of their LMS than they often do. Brandon Hall Group assists hundreds of clients with technology selections, and they oſten enter the process without well-defined priorities and requirements. This means they come to the table oſten unprepared to know what they really need and don’t always know the right questions to ask to ensure that solution providers can provide what they need.

In an era where an LMS is so critical to an organization’s learning success, it is important that both purchasers and providers work together to meet the purchaser’s current and future needs. The results of this survey show what can happen when the partnership falls short.

 David Wentworth, Senior Learning Analyst, Brandon Hall Group

David Wentworth

David Wentworth has been a senior research analyst in the human capital field since 2005 and joined the Brandon Hall Group in 2013. He has authored reports and articles on various human capital subjects with an emphasis on workforce technology. He has contributed to several reports published by ASTD, including authoring Mobile Learning: Learning in the Palm of Your Hand, The Rise of Social Media: Enhancing Collaboration and Productivity Across Generations, and Instructional Systems Design Today and in the Future. His work has also appeared in Compensation & Benefits Review and T+D Magazine.

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