By Ramesh Ramani, CEO, Expertus

I believe the future is what you make it. Thus, at Expertus, instead of making predictions for the New Year, we like to make challenges and commitments.

Our challenge for 2019 is to look beyond buzzwords in our product’s R&D. We don’t add “of-the-moment” features, just for the sake of having them. Instead, we dig deeper into these trends to uncover what core problems they are actually solving, and whether they are imperative to our customers’ growth and success.

If they have deep, inherent value, then we develop related solutions that make sense for our product and customer-base.

This leads me to our commitment for 2019─which is the same for every year at Expertus, and part of our company’s core DNA…

To continually find innovative ways to adopt meaningful, emerging technologies into our product.

Our mobile LMS app is a great example. It was the market’s first app with a Mobile First design. And today, we continue to add the latest in mobile technology to the app, as soon as it is available. Some examples from this past year include:

  • Geofencing─the ability to restrict mobile training to approved hours and locations
  • Voice integration─search, filtering, location mapping and more
  • Full eCommerce functionality─achieved through Expertus’ robust API library

How will you decipher what new technologies are of most value to your learning organization, and company as a whole, for 2019?

I have reviewed our industry’s top analysts’ predictions to create my own Top 10 list. Use it to quickly filter through the hype and get to what will make a real impact on your business.

Let us begin with learning technologies #1-3…

The UX Is King

“Now, most learning platforms are much easier to use for learners, administrators, instructors and content authors, alike. If you can’t say the same for your learning system, it’s time to switch.”

John Leh, Top Learning System Trends: A 2019 Market Guide

For more than a decade, it has been all about the user interface (UI). However, now is the time for the user experience (UX) to shine. Regardless of how easy to use your LMS is, if users aren’t logging in, they are missing out.

That is why we designed our digital LMS with the UX in mind─giving users the ubiquitous, always on access they desire through features such as Embeddable Widgets and Dynamic Shareable Links.

Here are how the analysts are weighing-in…

“(LMS providers will put more emphasis on a) modern UX, because everyone will tell you their system has a modern UI.”

Craig Weiss, What You Can Expect in 2019

“For years, we’ve talked about the importance of removing silos between learning systems and the rest of the world. So, who can resist the allure of in-app learning? With embedded widgets, you can create a window that brings some or all of a learning application, content or expert help directly into another software platform. Any content launched or consumed outside the LMS interface is still tracked just like any content in the LMS.”

John Leh, Top Learning System Trends: A 2019 Market Guide

“(There is now a deeper) focus on developing and deploying digital learning technologies and approaches that bring solutions closer to the workflow. We know that learning is more effective the closer it occurs to the point-of-use.”

eLearning, eLearning Trends for 2019

The Rise of LXP/LEPs

According to Talented Learning, it is unlikely that LXP/LEP platforms will displace LMSs because there is no incentive for LXP/LEP vendors to add complex compliance and extended enterprise functionality to their solutions.

However, there is definitely a growing need, and demand, for these experience-centric platforms. In fact, we plan on launching our own learning experience platform later this year.

Here are a few reasons why we, and our industry’s experts, believe LXPs are on the rise:

“These new ‘learning experience platforms’…LXPs put the learner in the driver’s seat of their learning experience, giving them greater control over what they want to learn, how they want to learn and when.

2019 Predictions: Learning & Development Best Practices

“…the main learning trend for 2019 will be the rise of a new, bottom-up approach. A learning experience system is much more about helping the learners find their skills and knowledge gaps, allowing them to pull learning content from a social environment. It is management vs. experience and push vs. pull. Learners are finally taking charge of their own learning. And these trends show that the L&D department is finally embracing this shift as it moves toward more of a facilitating role, supporting a bottom-up learning approach.”

The eLearning Guild, 2019 Predictions for eLearning

“Higher number of L&D folks finally seeing the value of personal and professional development thru the use of e-learning, especially with LMSs and LEP/LXPs. Increased number of LEP/LXPs trying to mimic an LMS as close as they can, without calling themselves an LMS – that said, there are a couple of constants as a whole, that LEP/LXP space is missing in the learning environment and administration areas specifically, that still sets them apart.”

Craig Weiss, State of the e-Learning Industry 2019

The DX Finally Reaches Learning

Aragon Research predicts that in the next two years, “50% of enterprises will be employing at least one digital business platform as a cornerstone digital transformation technology.”

Aragon Research’s Top 10 Predictions for 2019: A Look Forward to the Next 5 Years

We have talked about the digital transformation (DX) for years. However, many believe 2019 will be the tipping point for learning organizations that have yet to embrace it.

Why now?

Because other departments in their organization have already digitized─and learning is feeling the pressure. And because new learning technologies, such as our digital learning management system, have simplified and streamlined the transition.

Forbes 2019 Tech Forecast also points out that since more documentation will originate digitally in 2019, it will eliminate the need for organizations to ‘go paperless’ in the first place.

If you don’t yet have a DX plan in place, here are a few more insights to consider:

“Implementing learning solutions that have to account for the complexities of human nature, the global economy, and your organization’s evolving business models is no small task. However, if you’re supporting the digital transformation of your organization, select a solution that your learning strategy can grow into.

“Digital learning is moving to the forefront in many organizations…the capacity to deliver total transformation of organizational learning: Learning solutions built into the workflow, sitting alongside profitable activity, and fine-tuning learners to optimize innovation and drive value at all levels. Thinking, activated individuals supported by the finest information technologies, right where they need them—and with the data, via xAPI and other sources, to effectively prove ROI. (That is why) it wouldn’t (be a) surprise if we saw an increasing number of end-to-end, integrated digital learning transformation projects emerge in 2019.”

The eLearning Guild, 2019 Predictions for eLearning

The Future Looks Bright

With the user experience, LXPs and the digital transformation taking hold in 2019, you can see why we at Expertus, and our industry’s thought leaders, are so excited for the year ahead.

Look for our challenges and commitments regarding mobile, xAPI and AI/machine learning in Part II of this blog series.