Gone are the days when L&D teams had to go the extra mile of installing heavy-duty servers and incorporating additional software to roll out eLearning courses. The future is here – and it is, cloud! In order to thrive in today’s competitive global market, it is important for your employees to be more productive, up-to-date, and progressive in their outlook to deliver exceptional services and products. A cloud-based learning management system can be a powerful tool in your training arsenal to meet the organization’s L&D goals. With a cloud-based LMS, you can seamlessly access, manage training courses and also track user progress.
So, what is a cloud-based LMS?
Unlike an installed or self-hosted LMS that requires specific hardware/server to access it, a cloud-based LMS is hosted on the internet and allows you and your learners to access it by simply logging into the web portal, that is, the service provider’s site. A cloud-based LMS offers you the flexibility to store information on the cloud that can be easily accessed by users in any remote location.
And what is a SaaS LMS?
SaaS stands for Software as a Service. It is a cloud-based subscription model. In order to access the software, you pay for the subscription. One of the clear benefits of SaaS is that it allows you to scale up for the subscription levels to meet the business needs instead of paying for a one-size-fits-all license model.
What Are The Benefits Of A Cloud-Based LMS?
Installation is Smooth: For starters, installation of a cloud-based LMS is a hassle-free process and isn’t time-consuming at all. Investments in a cloud-based LMS does not require additional hardware or software. On the contrary, it eliminates the complex and long procedures that LMS administrators once followed to install the LMS. And, in comparison to the self-hosted modern LMS, a cloud-based one does not require server space within the office. You can simply log-in to the web interface of your cloud LMS, brand it, upload and manage courses, and it is good to go!
Scalability is Seamless: With a growing business, your employee base grows too that will access the LMS. As the cloud-based LMS is hosted on a virtual-server owned by a service provider, organizations can easily scale the LMS by purchasing extra space. Although self-hosted LMS can be scalable, the flip side of it is that LMS administrators need to be on a constant look out if the current server can accommodate the increased users and if not, invest in additional infrastructure. Whereas, irrespective of the size of the organizations, cloud-based LMS is easier and more cost-effective to scale to accommodate a large number of learners. Additionally, a cloud LMS also offers the flexibility to step-down the services as required.
Security is Robust: Cloud-based LMS is hosted securely on platforms that are encrypted for safer use. This allows users to share information freely without worrying about data being tampered with. A few LMSs also have the provision to enforce SSL certificates to ensure secure connections. Besides, third-party service providers take client data security very seriously and it is their responsibility to avoid any breach in data or security.
Maintenance is Minimal: On-premise LMS hosted on an internal server requires dedicated IT professionals to implement and manage it. However, as the cloud-based LMS is provided as a SaaS and hosted on the service-provider’s servers, it is managed by the vendor. Any breakdowns in the system are addressed remotely by the third-party service provider. Maintenance does not become your headache as most vendors provide 365*27 days support with free version updates and backup facilities.
Cost of Implementation is Clear: When using a self-hosted/on-premise LMS, additional costs might be incurred if the server breaks down or needs scaling up. The costs involved in implementing and managing a self-hosted LMS can be unpredictable. For example, if the LMS needs to be upgraded for mobile learning, you might have to think about using additional plug-ins or completely switch to a mobile-friendly LMS. However, for a cloud-based LMS, you’ll have to simply pay for the subscription per/month and the implementation costs upfront. After that, all you have to do is log into the web portal and migrate your data. There are no additional costs to shell out for maintenance and support.
As the global LMS market is on the rise, the adoption of cloud-based LMS is growing too. The benefits of a cloud-based LMS is unparalleled in comparison to a self-hosted LMS. In order to quickly deploy training, making learning accessible anywhere and at any time, a cloud-based LMS can be a crucial component of your L&D initiatives.