As a learning professional, you are probably currently using an LMS, or you see the value of an LMS and are looking to acquire one. When you compare LMS solutions, you will encounter many cloud-based LMS providers. What is a cloud-based LMS? How could you benefit from using this technology? This article, originally published in 2017, will help you cut through the static and figure out what you really need.
What is a Cloud-Based LMS?
Cloud-based learning management systems (LMS) are web-hosted platforms used by companies to deliver, manage, track and report on online training programs. A cloud-based solution can automate your entire training program, including course delivery, registration, assignments, course completions, and more.
Cloud-based solutions are hosted on the vendor’s servers and are accessible from anywhere, on any device with an internet connection. They differ from traditional proprietary learning management system software, which require in-house installation, hosting and maintenance costs.
8 Benefits of Using a Cloud-Based LMS
1. Lower set-up costs
When you’re implementing a cloud-based LMS, set-up costs are very low. You don’t need a dedicated IT team in your company to handle the implementation and maintenance of your learning management system. You don’t have to worry about making sure the software works on the entire organization.
Setting up a cloud-based system is incredibly easy. You simply sign-up and your learning portal is automatically created. And when the LMS provider offers a free trial, the process is even easier. You can play with it and see which solution is best for your organization, without investing anything except time.
2. Fast deployment
When you don’t have to worry about hardware or software, you could theoretically deliver learning to your users within an hour. Of course, LMS implementation requires the completion of other steps to ensure it’s a success. But the software is ready to use, right away.
Make sure to choose a cloud-based LMS provider that includes training as part of their offer, so you can easily learn how to successfully deploy your training programs.
3. Easy to maintain
Because the solution is developed, hosted and supported by your LMS provider, you don’t have to worry about maintaining the software.
The LMS provider has a dedicated IT team that works for you. They identify bugs and fix them, and release updates and new features to ensure you have continuous access to the best version of the software.
4. Improved access
Face-to-face learning remains a highly effective training method in most organizations. Unfortunately, the best seminars are unavailable to all employees due to factors such as cost and distance. When you move to online training, you deliver the same experience to all the people in your organization. You teach people more effectively and improve knowledge retention.
Cloud-based LMS solutions are both beneficial for learners and for training administrators:
- For learners, they can access training materials everywhere, from any device. They can learn on-the-go and apply what they learn directly.
- For training administrators, they can easily upload new courses, set-up learning paths or access completion data at any time. The business results are easily measurable.
Check out our free eLearning ROI Calculator to convince executives that the investment in eLearning is paying off.
5. Data security
When you implement an LMS in-house, the data are hosted on your servers. But, local servers are often less reliable than the cloud. With cloud-based LMS like SkillBuilder, the software, built-in security features, and data are hosted on the most reliable and secure cloud on the market.
All training and development materials, certificates, curriculum, tests, assessments and report data are stored in one location. Having centralized data helps you ensure consistency in the delivery, modification and tracking of your training materials.
Moreover, you can assign users different administrative roles to give them access to what they need and therefore restrict user access to protect certain functions on the eLearning platform.
6. Cost predictability
Establishing a budget when comparing LMS solutions isn’t easy. There are hundreds of LMS providers on the market, and many different pricing models. Nevertheless, the vast majority of providers offer a subscription model based on the number of users. You only pay for what you use, which makes your cost predictable. Whether you have 10 users or 10 000 users, cloud-based LMS are scalable to meet your ever-evolving training needs.
Establishing a budget when comparing LMS solutions isn’t easy. There are hundreds of LMS providers on the market, and many different LMS pricing models. Nevertheless, the vast majority of providers offer a subscription model based on the number of users. You only pay for what you use, which makes your cost predictable. Whether you have 10 users or 10 000 users, cloud-based LMS are scalable to meet your ever-evolving training needs.
Usually, customer support, training, updates and configurations are included in the offer. Additional costs can include custom integrations or implementation consulting.
7. Fully customizable
Whether you decide to implement an LMS solution to better train employees, certify skills, ensure compliance or track business results, you need to engage people in their training.
It starts with leveraging your own brand. A cloud-based LMS like SkillBuilder allows administrators to customize the logo, the theme, the domain and create custom pages to make them look like yours.
8. User friendly
Ease of use is one of the most liked and least liked features of current LMS according to Brandon Hall Group LMS Trend Research. This is a great indication of how important it is for organizations to get ease of use right for their learners. Depending on how the software is built, it can be an asset or a liability.
SkillBuilder offers a rich-featured LMS with step-by-step functionality to upload learning materials, organize them into learning paths and assign them to learners based on their unique learning needs.
As you can see, there are many benefits to choosing a cloud-based LMS for your organization. We’ve discussed 8 main benefits that makes it valuable for your business.
So what’s next? Choosing the right LMS solution is not easy, it is a process that requires time and investment. Check out the web, try different solutions. Look at comparison websites. There are many different cloud-based LMS and they will not all meet your unique training requirements.