This blog is for users who are looking at LMS comparisons or if you are curious to know about free LMS. Though there are a lot of open-source options available, it is meant for organisations who have their IT department with adequate bandwidth to develop and maintain such a system.
For organisations who are looking to get on to their corporate training journey swiftly cloud-based LMS’s are the best option.
What is a Cloud LMS?
A cloud-based LMS is a solution that doesn’t require you to install specific hardware or software in order to access and use it. By logging into a web portal ( from a mobile device or desktop ) you and your learners have access to the features of the cloud-based LMS solution.
What is a SaaS LMS?
Software as a service (SaaS) is a cloud-based subscription model. With a SaaS learning management system, you pay a subscription in order to gain access to the software.
How hard is it to maintain the different types of LMS?
Build – a self-build LMS will need dedicated IT resources to design the system, oversee the development, the hosting, the implementation phase and the ongoing support if you want to host the LMS on-premise. They will also be responsible for security, user and account management, data migration from the legacy system if applicable, system integration with your HR system if required, and perhaps integration with other systems such as online portals, eCommerce software, accounting packages, web-conferencing, ERP etc.
Buy – An off the shelf cloud-based learning management system is managed and hosted by the system provider for a fraction of the cost of a dedicated IT resource. The vendor can also provide regular system updates and will make any changes requested by the client. They will also manage the implementation phase and import any data that you require.
What are the benefits of a Cloud LMS?
Besides being cost-effective than an installed LMS and not have a complex and time-consuming installation process, cloud based lmss have a more to offer.
1. Easy to Use
a cloud LMS falls in line with the more common choice for users thus making adoption easier. There is a familiarity that makes it much easier for your learners to use.
SaaS products like cloud learning management systems generally allow you to change colour schemes, templates, turn features on and off, and white-label. A cloud LMS might be as customizable or shall we say configurable as you require!
Cloud-based apps should allow you to use the software from anywhere on any device. Any device that can access your portals web page can be used to access your LMS. An LMS with a responsive design ensures that the user interface responds to the size of the device.
It allows learners to take their training on any device, wherever they are. This convenience will increase adoption and improve training completion.
4. Secure and Scalable
Cloud LMSs have to be highly secure in order to give confidence to their customers. They should have a secure code and processes.
Cloud-based applications should also take advantage of their infrastructure to instantly scale to meet your number of users and be highly available. All of these factors will mean that the system you choose is not only a safe platform on which to house your data but also one that scales to match your growth.
5. Low Maintenance
The maintenance of a cloud-based SaaS LMS is taken care of by the vendor. Most cloud-based LMS solutions will have a near-constant uptime, and the teams maintaining the software are performing this task as their primary goal.
When researching learning management systems it’s important to demo the ones that you think match your requirements to get a feel for them. Deciding on which type of deployment is right for you will really depend on the size of your company and it’s resources.
If you have an internal IT department or access to developers then an open-source or Moodle-based system can provide a good solution but it has its challenges. Some of these systems can be a little flat or user-unfriendly but that does not impact on their ability to deliver the functionality that you need.
With a SaaS-based LMS ( lms cloud) on the other hand, all hardware, software and security concerns are handled by the LMS provider. Updates and patches are delivered regularly by the provider free of charge as part of the regular licence fee. SaaS type LMS solutions tend to be more polished and user-friendly with the focus on the business environment where efficiency is a higher priority than in an academic environment.
If you want the fastest possible implementation at the lowest possible cost then choose a cloud-based LMS provider and avoid an on-premise self-build solution.
a more detailed comparison can be found here.
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