First Books. Then Retail…Next the LMS? How Amazon Could Disrupt the Learning Technology Market

Fulcrum Labs
138 posts

According to a recent article on CNBC, Amazon’s cloud business is considering expanding into learning management. With the LMS market worth $5.2 billion today, and expected to grow to $16 billion over the next four years, this move would provide Amazon another opportunity to maintain the rapid growth of its cloud service, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and stay ahead of providers like Google and Microsoft.

AWS & Learning Technology

AWS already supports many existing LMS’s and other learning technologies with its cloud infrastructure. But Amazon’s new foray into the learning space is something quite different than its traditional model. Exploring the development of its own L&D product indicates that Amazon doesn’t simply view AWS as a computing and storage provider for the learning industry. Rather, Amazon envisions that AWS can provide companies with a stand-alone learning platform. If an Amazon-enabled L&D solution comes to fruition, companies would be able manage and deploy the learning components and content of their organization through AWS rather than the traditional LMS.

This could bring considerable benefits and increased flexibility for L&D. For example, an AWS learning technology could:

  • Provide a more streamlined way to integrate other AWS cloud-based, edge learning technologies like adaptive, AR/VR and video engagement tools
  • Leverage Amazon’s renown data capabilities to improve L&D insights
  • Harness Amazon’s recommendation algorithms to prescribe future training
  • Use Amazon’s pre-built infrastructure to scale up or down more efficiently
  • Provide an intuitive UX and quality customer support

LMS Future

So does this mean that the LMS is on its way out? Not quite.

Despite widespread dissatisfaction, it looks like the LMS is here to stay (for now at least). In fact, industry reports indicate that 87% of U.S. businesses currently use an LMS, and up to 39% of training budgets are dedicated to LMS (with increased investment expected YOY). Companies spend significant resources to integrate and maintain these systems. As such, we don’t think they will be prepared to walk away from the LMS so easily.

While it’s fun to imagine what a proprietary Amazon learning solution might mean for the L&D market, learning departments have to embrace the here and now. In that vein, we’ve developed best practices for integrating our personalized, adaptive platform with our partner’s LMS systems. For more information about our simple plug and play integration with existing LMS, HRMIS or other L&D platforms via LTI, SAML and xAPI, contact us directly.