Let’s start by throwing some figures out there:
Global industry analysts report the eLearning industry is growing at between 15-30% per annum globally, and is expected to surpass US$52 billion dollars by 2010. Even under the current economic climate while training budgets are being cut, a Feb 2009 report by TowardsMaturity.org indicates that 64% of 225 respondents believe the % of overall training budget allocated to e-learning will increase over the next 2 years, while over 30% believed it would remain the same.
A recent survey by IDC reports that in 2009 the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) industry will grow by 40.5% over 2008’s figures. By the end of 2009, 76% of all U.S. organisations will use at least one SaaS-delivered application. The % of U.S. firms which plan to spend at least 25% of their IT budgets on SaaS applications will increase from 23% in 2008, to nearly 45% in 2010.
Why are eLearning and SaaS doing so well?
Well, a bi-product of both is they generally result in money savings. Whether it be through reducing travel and classroom-based training costs or by offering fully hosted systems that charge on a usage basis, the adoption of either can also reduce staffing requirements and IT costs.
But more than that, I want to draw attention to the real benefits of SaaS for the end user, as we see it here at Litmos (which is a SaaS-based eLearning product):
- Basically, it just works. You sign up and your system just works, you can get started ASAP
- Your data is secure and accessible from anywhere in the world, you do not need to worry about creating backups
- You do not pay for upgrades yet still have access to the cutting edge technology. This means that 5 years down the track you’re not stuck with an aging system
- A monthly fee means no capex to get started; training becomes a totally operational expense
- No IT department needed, yet you are fully supported 24/7
When you look at all these benefits, is it really any wonder that in a down-market these industries are rapidly surging ahead?