Learning management systems have been around in some shape or form since 1924 when Sidney Pressey, a psychology professor at Ohio State University, invented a device resembling a typewriter that could be used to create multiple choice quizzes.

This long history saw another major milestone in 2008, with the release of open source API, Eucalyptus, which allowed for the deployment of private clouds. From then on, LMS – especially cloud deployments – started to take hold. However, despite these advances, not all markets have fully adopted LMS due to reasons such as poor IT infrastructure or lack of organization. In this article we’ll delve further into adoption trends by geography, as well as explain what LMS tools are, and what is driving their expansion.

What is a LMS?

Turning to Wikipedia, the site defines a LMS as: “A software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting and delivery of educational courses or training programs.”

LMS tools were created to make knowledge-sharing much easier, and the advent of cloud computing made that much easier as it meant that employees could take these courses from wherever they were based, and at scale.

What is driving LMS growth?

There are various elements that are positively affecting the growth of LMS tools. The availability of SaaS LMS solutions (lots of acronyms there), for example, has greatly improved their rate of adoption.

This change is caused by a variety of features that SaaS tools bring to the table.

Let’s take a look at some of these features.

  • Cost efficiency – With cloud-based LMS, businesses have more control over their expenditure. Only a decade ago, businesses mostly hosted their LMS. This brought additional staff costs, hardware costs and maintenance costs. Now a service provider is responsible for all of these expenses, with a business only responsible for paying a monthly fee.
  • Accessibility – Cloud-based LMS tools mean that you and your employees or students can access the learning platform anywhere, anytime.
  • Shareability – All of the content can easily be shared with any registered employee. Additionally, the administrator or LMS manager can implement different access limits for different departments, to create a seamless experience free of any unnecessary distractions.
  • Maintenance – All of the system maintenance is the service provider’s responsibility.
  • Scalability and flexibility – Cloud-based software tools can support an unlimited number of students. Additionally, whenever the number of employees goes down, you can cut costs by reducing the number of user accounts.
  • Personalization – It was pretty tough to personalize learning to each employee or student when all you had was a projector or PowerPoint and an in-house trainer. However, LMS allow you to tailor courses to your employees, and to let them learn at their own pace.
  • IT infrastructure – Cloud-based LMS are great, until you factor in a shoddy WiFi connection that reminds you of the days of dial-up internet. The better the infrastructure where you live, the more you can benefit from cloud LMS software tools.

LMS market adoption by geography

According to Zion Market Research, the LMS market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 24 percent between 2017 and 2022.

Let’s dive deeper and take a look at the state of LMS adoption across different continents.

North America

North America is the pioneer of LMS technology adoption. Its growth is currently sitting at four percent due to the fact that LMS technology has already been widely adopted, leaving little room for making progress. The main reason for this lies in the strength of American IT infrastructure, which has allowed US businesses to adopt cloud-based LMS technologies earlier.

The primary drivers of growth in the US educational LMS market scope are increasing numbers of universities that offer online education.

Factors that are holding back growth include the low degree of customization and low desired integration. In addition, some educational institutions are not properly implementing their learning management systems due to low budget and expertise

South America

Countries in this continent are still in the growth period, as noted by Ambient Insights. CAGR figures show that theses countries’ LMS market growth ranges from 11 percent up to 28 percent.

For example, Brazil has lower growth rates due to being the most advanced IT country in the region, although its LMS have more interactive and personalized learning environments.

The Dominican Republic has a CAGR growth of 28 percent, which shows that there is a lot of room in that market for LMS to prosper.


In Europe, according to MindWires, adoption of cloud-based LMS currently stands at 12.5 percent.

The European learning management system market is expected to experience rapid growth over the next year years, with a CAGR of almost 27 percent. This will be driven by mobile learning and policies like BYOD.

The corporate sector will account for nearly 64 percent of this by 2020.


Asia had witnessed a 17.3 percent growth rate. Revenues reached $5.2 billion in 2011 and doubled to $11.5 billion by 2016.

According to a Markets and Markets report: “APAC organizations are increasingly opting for LMS to gain better returns on investments made on talent development, employee learning requirements, proper employee training, and receiving quantifiable business outcomes. As many organizations have tight learning budgets, they prefer a technology-enabled learning approach, which is also a cost effective way to offer training and resources to their learners. This enables high growth opportunities in this region.”

Further research highlights the following: “[The] Asia-pacific region is growing due to high demand of cost effective learning management solution by the industries and thereby is increasing Learning Management System market in the region. Further, the report state less maturity in end-users is a challenge to the market growth.”

Middle East and Africa

While there are issues with infrastructure, which has slowed growth, according to research: “Increasing need of higher education and emerging economies are creating growth opportunities in the Middle East and Africa.”


With great Internet infrastructure and a good economy, Australia is in a similar situation to that of North America and Europe. Significant growth is unlikely to occur, as Australian businesses and educational institution have already adopted the LMS technology. It is likely that the shift towards cloud-based tools is going to occur.


Technology has created a wide-array of new markets globally, and the LMS market is no different. If you’re looking to join the masses and adopt (or change) your LMS, then GetApp has resources that can help:

Author Bio: Kamy Anderson is an ed-tech enthusiast with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of corporate training and education. He is an expert in learning management systems and eLearning authoring tools – currently associated with ProProfs.

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