Lust for knowledge causes surge in market, says IDC

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It seems the world and his wife are into self-improvement. Whether you wish to increase your knowledge with an elearning package, or hone your skills with a training course, education is addictive.

The growing focus on continuous learning and professional development are responsible for robust growth in the industry. These are considered key factors for reducing rates of staff attrition and attracting new recruits to an organization.

IDC estimates that the European elearning market will grow by 126% in 2001, to reach almost $6 billion by 2005, representing around a quarter of the total IT training market.

Circle of knowledge
• Content will continue to be the dominant segment of the market
• Services will be the second-largest and will have the highest growth.
• Delivery solutions will slow down, as customers need more course development, administration and maintenance, which in turn will boost the content and services segments again.

As the market consolidates, tools will become a commodity, as they will become part of end-to-end solutions. According to Sheila McGovern, senior research analyst for IDC’s European eLearning and Skills Management Services program, the players vary a great deal in terms of what they can offer, either through partners or directly.

“In general, companies tend either to specialize in providing content or delivery solutions. However, many of the providers of content also now offer a learning management system (LMS). This may threaten the ability of LMS specialists to break in to the SME market,” said McGovern.

Plentiful opportunities
The elearning market presents lots of opportunity for providers of solutions in the content, delivery solutions or services segments.

“Remember, however, that learning is more than just content or delivery software. It needs to be integrated into a broader learning process involving instructional support and collaboration, and designed with emphasis on the learning objectives. It also needs to be seen in the context of the broader strategy for training and skills development within a company. In many cases this means that it needs to be integrated into existing training delivery, creating a blended solution,” concluded McGovern.

English spoken here
The United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Sweden are the fastest adopters of elearning because Internet adoption levels are already high in those countries. In addition, there is less of a language issue than in southern European countries, as a high proportion of the population speaks English and is used to doing business in English.

Traditional instructor-led training (ILT) courses will remain the preferred IT training delivery method, where revenues will reach $7.7 million in 2001 and by 2005 are expected to reach a staggering $11.3 million.

Its growth, however, will be low compared to that of technology-based training (TBT). ILT will represent 87% of the market in 2000, but only 67% by 2005. Technology-based training delivery is by far the fastest-growing segment of IT training. Among the technology-based delivery formats, elearning solutions are rapidly gaining in popularity due to their convenience, cost-effectiveness, efficiency, and timeliness. TBT will represent 7% of the market in 2000 and this will increase to 28% by 2005.

Website developers in demand
According to IDC, training around application software is estimated to be growing at a CAGR of 10%, with the development tools segment showing the greatest growth at 12% and system infrastructure software training growing at 8%. Internet tools training will have the fastest growth, due to the impact of the Internet on the growth of the application development tools software market. There is an increasing demand for development and management of websites.

European eLearning Market Forecast and Analysis, 2000-2005 analyzes the market for elearning between 2000 and 2005. It forecasts the growth of various segments and breaks down the market, country by country – assessing those who are best positioned to succeed.

European IT Training Forecast and Analysis Report, 2000-2005 provides an overview of the IT training market in Western Europe. The market is examined by country, technology type, and delivery method.

Gaining insight
IDC is a global market intelligence and advisory firm helping clients gain insight into technology and ebusiness trends to develop business strategies. Using a combination of primary research, analysis, and client interaction, the company forecasts worldwide markets and trends. More than 700 analysts in 43 countries provide global research with local content.

IDC

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