According to a recent Brandon Hall Group study, almost one half of the surveyed organizations said they were considering switching their current learning management system (LMS), and, with today’s market flooded with thousands of LMS providers and the LMS market growth expected to touch 25% by 2020, organizations don’t have to settle and enjoy the luxury of finding an LMS that is a perfect fit for their business.
Speaking of switching LMSes, let us first consider the fact that replacing your current LMS with a newer one is as demanding as it is critical, and requires a lot of research, both internal and external, to determine your specific training needs; because once you set your training targets and align them to your overall business goals, it will be easier for you to choose the right LMS.
So, if you are wondering if you need to switch your LMS, ask yourself these six critical questions-
1. Is the LMS user friendly with great UI/UX?
One of the primary reasons why organizations get frustrated by their LMS is because it’s unnecessarily hard to use. An LMS that is confusing and not user friendly will always create more problems. It only makes learning harder for employees than it needs to be, as they end up struggling to find relevant content.
An LMS not only should be easier to navigate but also intuitive. Learners should be able to locate the content and learn hassle-free. More importantly, the LMS UI and UX should not distract the learner from the learning, which means the LMS also needs to be responsive with mobile capabilities, among other things. So, if your answer to this question is ‘no’ then you should switch to an LMS that provides a state of the art UI & UX, with exceptional mobility features.
2. Is the LMS configurable, with a great feature-set?
Configuration mattes a lot when you consider the users’ perspective. Everyone prefers to navigate websites/online platforms that are consistently styled and seem easier on the eye, so why should an LMS be any different? Besides, an LMS that is configured with your organization’s branding only complements the overall training process. A configured homepage, domain name,
organization’s branding and colors certainly go a long way.
An LMS without a great feature set is like a chicken salad without the chicken. Terrible analogy, but it proves the point. An LMS with state of the art features, including Gamification, social learning, blended learning and compliance training, enables you to deliver your training content in a variety of innovative ways, which in turn drives engagement and course completion. Other attractive features like discussion boards, virtual classroom and mobility ensure that you reach your learners effectively. If you’re ticking a ‘no’ in this checkbox then it’s time you look for an LMS with advanced customization capabilities and an innovative feature-set.
3. Does the LMS support functional integrations?
A great LMS shouldn’t necessarily be a stand-alone system, and most leading LMSes today come with functional integration capabilities. By integrating the systems that your employees already use (API integrations, HRMS & CRM systems, video calling tools and more) with your LMS, you are most certain to achieve the best value from your LMS.
Among the many advantages of integrations, one of the key benefits is that it increases learner engagement and provides an enhanced experience. Besides, functional integrations also save cost and time and cut down manual tasks. So, if your LMS supports integrations, it becomes easier for employees to perform better as well as collaborate and achieve their targets. If not, then you should consider switching to an LMS that does support functional integrations.
4. Does the LMS (vendor) provide great technical support & customer service?
Even the best of LMSes with advanced technology have an ‘oops’ moment, while most times it’s not even a technical error but a simple wrong turn on the learner’s side (like erroneous log in etc.). But, whatever the case, nobody likes looking naive or even stupid, and often learners don’t know what to do. This is where a great customer service and technical support come into play.
Let’s face it, technology is tricky sometimes and every software faces downtime. But, LMS downtime directly translates to learning downtime. So, while round the clock customer service and technical support is desirable, not a lot of LMS vendors provide these facilities, and it becomes increasingly annoying when you’re stuck and there is no help from customer service or technical support.
Hence, the add-ons of technical support and a great customer service must be among the most critical selection criteria for an LMS. If your present LMS just isn’t good enough on that front then you know it’s time to make the switch.
5. Am I paying too much $$$ for the LMS?
LMS vendors often quote costs that make organizations reconsider if they even need an LMS in the first place. While there are some LMSes that are bracketed as best value LMS, pricing challenges are always going to be hard, but the best you can do is make sure you’re getting the most out of your LMS investments.
The pricing also comes into play when it comes to scalability, where you realize that your training requirements are outgrowing your present LMS. In this case your best bet is a SaaS LMS that fits the needs of organizations of all shapes and sizes, and is priced accordingly. So if your present LMS is not scalable, adds unnecessary costs to your training and doesn’t provide value for money, then switching LMSes is your best option.
6. Does my LMS support Reporting & Learning Analytics?
Learning analytics is increasingly becoming a ‘must-have’ feature in any modern LMS as it helps organizations gain actionable insights into their learners’ learning patterns, which in turn helps them improve their elearning programs.
Without reporting and measuring capabilities like daily log-ins, course completions, learner engagement, assessments and the likes, you’re merely playing a guessing game and losing out on valuable learners’ data. If your present LMS is limiting your learning analytics then you need to consider switching your LMS.
Everything said and done, every LMS has its own advantages and disadvantages, but it’s not that difficult to identify a great LMS when you see one. What organizations should look for is a best value SaaS LMS, with a world class feature-set that is user friendly, provides round the clock and free technical support, with advanced reporting and analytics tools. Now that you’re better informed with the knowledge about the key LMS pain points, it’s time to take that final step towards making a switch.
Amit has played a key role in bringing an innovative approach to the traditional Learning Management System (LMS) and has been instrumental in putting UpsideLMS on the global map.With over two decades of work
experience across IT and eLearning, Amit has a wealth of knowledge and hands-on experience in start-up management, project management, technology solutions consulting, and technology solutions architecting and development. At UpsideLMS too, Amit continues to wear multiple hats as the key idea generator for UpsideLMS' tech-ops team, a Sales and Marketing orchestrator, a learning technology solutions consultant for his clients and prospects, a sounding board of ideas for his team of experts and a mentor for all the function heads. All product offerings birthed and led by Amit, be it the Learning Management System or the Mobile Learning Apps, have been disruptors in the eLearning industry and ahead of their times.
Amit is an active contributor to the company's blog and many eLearning forums. He has been profiled by Learning Solutions, a leading industry publication and the official online publication of the eLearning Guild, for its 'Leaders in the Limelight' series. He distils his expertise and experience into articles, which are regularly published in leading L&D and HR publications across the world.
Amit has spoken at various L&D events in the US, has co-hosted webinars alongside leading industry experts and has authored eBooks on Learning Management Systems. He has served as a judge for the Brandon Hall awards in 2002 and 2004. Amit holds a bachelor's degree in Computer Science (NIT–Kurukshetra) and a Masters in Business Administration (IIM – Lucknow).
Connect with him on LinkedIn.