LMS: A Quick SWOT Analysis The LMS has been a hot discussion topic for some time now. There have been posts discussing its survival and a few posts before that discussing its future – Jane Hart posted what is the future of the lms reviewing useful of LMS, followed up by a similar post by Harold Jarche suggesting LMS is no longer the centre of the universe. Clark Quinn brought in a little balance by highlighting what the LMS could be used for and to what extent in his post – a case for the LMS.

I wanted to do a quick SWOT analysis of the LMS to get some understanding on the LMS scenario today.

Here is a very quick SWOT analysis of the LMS:

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Around for quite some time now and is well accepted.
  • Provide a central and manageable system for both online and offline training.
  • Capable of integrating with the workflow.
  • Capable of integrating with other existing HRMS/IS.
  • Exhaustive MIS reporting.
  • Works excellent for course management, delivery and tracking of formal learning.
  • Some LMS systems are capable of managing more than only eLearning – competency and talent management (though limited).
  • Focused on control and managing more than learner experience
  • Most LMS systems not ready for Web 2.0 experience and still offer outdated way of course access.
  • Still focused on formal learning to be pushed to learners. Course-centric workflows and approach is inherent.
  • Apart from Interoperability standards – no real standards govern LMS development
  • Varied and fragmented suppliers pool with differing technical and functional capabilities. Overall customer experience with LMS is not consistent.
Opportunities Threats
  • Social and Informal learning trends. A real opportunity for LMS to create learner-centric environments rather than centralized course delivery system. By not only providing the tools but also revamping the whole learner experience is required.
  • Talent management. Given the core strength of the LMS and its capability to link with other systems, being able to offer talent management functionality in the context of both formal and informal learning is an excellent opportunity for the LMS to become and remain relevant for the HR/training function.
  • Slow to respond to changing learner needs.
  • Fragmented market. With the suppliers fragmented across verticals, focus areas, technical capabilities only a few LMS systems respond to the changing dynamics of the market. More LMS systems out of tune to the market demands will create a higher level of dissonance with the LMS as a whole in terms of its relevance and usefulness.
  • Social networking tools. Tools focused on providing a networked environment to learners and allowing them to share content, opinions and information with each other could extend to take over some of the LMS functionality posing a new competition (already are) to LMS.

Though there are clear and actionable weaknesses and threats the LMS faces today, there are also a set of opportunities that the LMS should avail of and continue to remain relevant for the target audience.


+ posts

Amit has played a key role in bringing an innovative approach to the traditional Learning Management System (LMS) and has been instrumental in putting UpsideLMS on the global map.With over two decades of work
experience across IT and eLearning, Amit has a wealth of knowledge and hands-on experience in start-up management, project management, technology solutions consulting, and technology solutions architecting and development. At UpsideLMS too, Amit continues to wear multiple hats as the key idea generator for UpsideLMS' tech-ops team, a Sales and Marketing orchestrator, a learning technology solutions consultant for his clients and prospects, a sounding board of ideas for his team of experts and a mentor for all the function heads. All product offerings birthed and led by Amit, be it the Learning Management System or the Mobile Learning Apps, have been disruptors in the eLearning industry and ahead of their times.


Amit is an active contributor to the company's blog and many eLearning forums. He has been profiled by Learning Solutions, a leading industry publication and the official online publication of the eLearning Guild, for its 'Leaders in the Limelight' series. He distils his expertise and experience into articles, which are regularly published in leading L&D and HR publications across the world.


Amit has spoken at various L&D events in the US, has co-hosted webinars alongside leading industry experts and has authored eBooks on Learning Management Systems. He has served as a judge for the Brandon Hall awards in 2002 and 2004. Amit holds a bachelor's degree in Computer Science (NIT–Kurukshetra) and a Masters in Business Administration (IIM – Lucknow).

Connect with him on LinkedIn.