Learning Services Outsourcing (LSO) - Accelerating the Learning Curve

10 Sep 2008
by Rajesh Ranjan



Learning is unique among HR functions: in many organizations, learning, or training, is decentralized – managed and funded by business units rather than the HR department. In addition, organizational learning spend may cover not just employee training but, often, training for vendors, customers, and channel partners. With such complexity ingrained in the learning function, along with an increased focus on talent management, buyers are looking to better understand the different options to support their learning needs. Learning Services Outsourcing (LSO) has emerged as a strategic choice with a strong value proposition. This report examines the LSO market and provides insights, analyses and implications for stakeholders along four key dimensions: market overview and key business drivers, buyer adoption, transaction characteristics, and supplier landscape. It will help buyers understand the value proposition of LSO through case examples, the different sourcing choices and considerations,  and the supplier landscape. It will help suppliers gain insight into the buyer market and understand their competitive landscape


  • Deals where either a “selective” or “comprehensive” outsourcing model have been deployed
  • Deals in which more than 3,000 learners are covered
  • Suppliers that offer learning as a stand-alone outsourcing service


This research report provides a comprehensive coverage of the LSO market and analyzes it across various dimensions such as market overview and key business drivers, buyer adoption, transaction characteristics, and supplier landscape. It also provides case examples of successful LSO partnerships in the market. Some of the findings in this report, among others, are:

  • The LSO market is moving beyond the “pioneer” stage in the market maturity curve
  • While cost reduction remains a key business driver, the value proposition of LSO is moving beyond cost to achieving business outcomes and strategic impact
  • To date, over two-thirds of LSO deals have originated in North America. However, the demand from Europe and Asia Pacific-headquartered companies is rising
  • Judgment-intensive learning processes are outsourced more frequently in stand-alone LSO deals compared to multi-process HRO deals
  • LSO suppliers can be broadly segmented into two categories – HRO suppliers that offer learning (stand-alone or as part of HRO) and specialized LSO suppliers



Page Count: 56