Learning Management Systems (LMSs) are a must-have corporate tool that allows you to deploy online training on a global scale. Does it really matter if it’s hosted in-house or in the cloud?
Why You Should Invest in a Subscription-Based Learning Management System
Your LMS has hundreds of functionalities, even though most of us only use four or five. It’s the most recent iteration of digitized office assistance. You can use it to monitor office functions, onboard new employees, and develop a variety of in-house learning modules. Your LMS can be based on-site, but that leaves it susceptible to localized problems. Something as simple as a power outage can leave you—and your corporate learners—cut off. By hosting your LMS in the cloud, you have uninterrupted access, as long as you have WiFi or data bundles. Let’s discuss 5 notable reasons to invest in a subscription-based Learning Management System.
1. Analysis and Tracking
Big Brother is watching because sometimes, he needs to. There are different types of monitoring that are essential for business success. You need to keep an eye on the cash flow, payroll hours, assets, meetings, and more. A centralized LMS can follow up with anyone that’s logged into the system. However, with a stationary LMS, this monitoring is restricted to people within the office walls.
Subscribing to a cloud-based Learning Management System broadens login capabilities to infinity. Your staff and colleagues can access the LMS from the middle of the desert, just as long as they have an internet hook-up. This allows them to use office tools while they’re in the field. And it gives you access to them whether they’re driving to remote villages or orbiting the moon. You can assess them better, identify gaps in the L&D machine, and widen your management capability.
2. Seamless Management
Most of us have embraced a more digitized way of working. This means we have endless tools like integrated accounting, virtual clock-ins, central inventory, and so on. The trouble is these systems sometimes clash. They’re designed for different targets, so they aren’t always compatible. Subscription-based Learning Management Systems are more efficient because it’s the only way they can survive. Unlike physical servers which are a one-off purchase, subscription services have to keep you happy. They’re just a click away from non-renewal.
This makes them better incentivized to upgrade their features and build in multiple functionalities. It’s doable to find a single subscription service and replace the rest of your software. For example, many systems feature built-in eLearning authoring tools. You should also list all the virtual programs you’re using right now, and what each one of them does. It could be accounting, stock-taking, payroll, fleet management, etc. Then find an LMS that integrates seamlessly so that you don’t have to purchase replacements that do mesh.
3. Remote Control
As much as we like to think we’re autonomous as adults, we’re really not. We’re at the mercy of authorities in our lives, whether it’s our kids’ coach or corporate HR. We have to build our schedules around theirs. In that sense, our line managers at work play a big role in how we live and work. This is an easy enough task for desk-tethered workers. But for anyone who works outside the office, it’s a bit trickier, as they may drive delivery vans, make sales calls, or run a distant branch of your organization.
To reach all these staffers, you’d need a server at each location, and maybe a router in every office vehicle. This can get really expensive. With cloud-based subscription Learning Management Systems, your necessities are drastically cut down. Just make sure everyone can access the internet. The quickest way is via mobile phones or tablets. Buy a data plan they can all subscribe to and pay the bill in bulk. You will get more discounts and have complete visibility of your team. They can check in wherever they are, and you can produce automated LMS reports. This form of oversight makes it easier to spot online training gaps and develop relevant materials.
SaaS LMS platforms are easier to scale because you can simply upgrade your plan or add more users. For example, you need to expand your organization to meet the rise in demand. No need to invest in a more robust tool to suit your growing needs. Subscription-based Learning Management Systems give you the opportunity to simply pay for additional users or choose the next pricing package. The same applies to features and support services. Does your organization require more advanced reporting options or one-on-one support? Meet with the LMS vendor to see if you can add that to your current plan.
5. Updates and Upgrades
One of the most significant drawbacks of locally hosted LMSs is that you often have to update the LMS yourself and pay for upgrades. In the case of subscription-based Learning Management Systems, the LMS vendor handles that for you. They offer the most up-to-date version of the software and give you access to valuable tool upgrades that maximize functionality. Some charge extra for add-ons, while others include that in the package. Thus, you can always be assured that your Learning Management System stays on the cutting edge of learning technology.
Software as a Service (SaaS) is catching on in the corporate world. Logically, it makes sense to outsource the tech and focus on what your team is good at. But in what specific ways is a cloud-hosted LMS better than physical in-office servers? It broadens the range of your analytics. If you get the right service, you can replace all your disjointed departmental software with a single, streamlined system. Cloud computing allows you to reach and manage workers in transit, at home, or in distant field branches. It’s a more efficient system for tributary organizations.
Author: Christopher Pappas (The Founder of eLearning Industry’s Network, which is the largest online community of professionals involved in the eLearning field. Christopher holds an MBA and an M.Ed. (Learning Design) from BGSU.