The learning and development sector has evolved quickly. This is a result of the learning leaders’ tenacity, their love of training, and the variety of online tools and systems that help them carry out their goals. The learning management system, or LMS, is one L&D technology that stands out from the rest due to its adaptability and flexibility. You can create, manage, deliver, and measure learning all inside a single centralized system using an LMS. The two most popular varieties of learning management systems—SaaS LMS and self-hosted LMS—will be examined.
A SaaS LMS: What Is It?
First off, SaaS, or software as a service, refers to an online subscription model for a platform or system that is hosted rather than downloaded onto a single device.
With a SaaS LMS, you must pay a monthly or annual subscription fee to use the learning management system. Instead of purchasing a license that can be more restrictive, software as a service typically enables you to scale your “plan” or subscription level to fit the needs of your organization. Because the SaaS LMS providers’ price structures are frequently based on real product or service usage, they are viewed as more scalable investments.
You can access and use this kind of learning solution without installing any special hardware or software. All you need to do to access the features and courses is log into an online portal. This LMS choice is popular since it’s simple to set up, requires little upkeep, is secure, and can be customized.
Self-hosted versus SaaS LMSs
The servers at your business are used to deploy a self-hosted LMS locally. Though some self-hosted LMSs may offer additional customization choices, updating and maintaining the LMS will fall under the purview of your company’s IT staff.
However, is a SaaS LMS preferable to a self-hosted LMS for your company? The solution is totally based on the demands and assets of your company. Like anything else, both have advantages and disadvantages.
With a SaaS LMS, the LMS provider handles the majority of the technological labor. Installing gear and assigning resources to handle it won’t be a concern for you. It’s as easy for managers and students to get started as to log in. Additionally, you should choose an LMS supplier with 24/7 assistance to make sure that any technical problems can be fixed promptly and efficiently.
A self-hosted platform, however, only functions if your company uses the same architecture across all platforms. Additionally, it leaves your team and you in charge of managing budgeting and applications like servers, databases, and resources. Updates to the LMS do not happen instantly like they do with cloud-based LMSs. Your IT team must implement any upgrades and improvements across all devices. These changes may be essential to the success of your training, thus a lack of funding or support for L&D from the top may be significant.
In conclusion, SaaS is a wise solution if your organization wants an LMS that scales with you. These platforms are adaptable and can easily accommodate your user base increasing from 1,000 to 10,000+. Although self-hosted platforms can be increased in size, it is up to your internal team to control activity and storage as the number of users increases.
Gains from a SaaS LMS
Undoubtedly, a SaaS LMS is superior to a self-hosted LMS. But why precisely is that? You are already aware that it is a more adaptable and scalable choice, so let’s find out about some other benefits.
Because a SaaS LMS is cloud-based, your students can access training at any time, anywhere. A cloud-based LMS is an easy and practical way to study because it can be accessed on any device, whether the student prefers to learn on a laptop, desktop, or smartphone. To get started, all they need is an internet connection.
Quick to start
The majority of cloud-based LMSs will have an easy deployment process, with a dedicated Support and Success staff to assist you. Once you are clear on the purpose of your training, you can begin adding courses, signing up students, and launching training initiatives.
Keep in mind that it’s a good idea to inquire about their typical deployment timelines when comparing LMS companies. This will give you a clear idea of their level of readiness to assist you in meeting your crucial learning deadlines.
Simple updates and upgrades
Cloud-based SaaS LMSs are popular in large part because of how simple and frequent data updates are. You do not have to be concerned about system problems or downtime because maintenance is handled by the vendor.
Your learning system automatically incorporates new or updated features, allowing you to concentrate on creating effective training courses that provide results.
Any SaaS LMS worth its salt will include features that are simple to use and configure. An LMS interface should be set to be as simple or complex as your organization requires, from required to self-directed learning.
Your students should be able to start and finish training with ease. You may design and administer distinctive learning environments that are tailored to particular learner groups and training needs using features like portals. A solid SaaS LMS would reduce the administrative workload with features like automation and reports, making it easier to use not just for the learners.
The seamless integration of your training with systems like HRMs, webinar tools, or Salesforce is made possible by the abundance of SaaS LMSs that interact with third-party systems utilizing APIs or tools like Zapier. The manual administrative responsibilities involved in running your training programs will be significantly less once you’re connected to a tool.
You’ll have more time to devote to providing excellent training when you use integrations. To automate tasks like user creation. And access, data synchronization, and enrollments.
You’ll need a solution that scales with your firm as it expands if you’re investing in your long-term learning. And development strategy. Typically, a cloud-based SaaS LMS will be less expensive than a locally installed LMS. You won’t have to spend a significant sum upfront. Because of customary pricing procedures. You only pay for real use of your cloud LMS because the price is based on your usage metrics, like as users or portals.
This indicates that short-term costs are often lower for cloud-based LMS solutions. It is also a practical long-term solution because you don’t have to pay for upkeep, support, maintenance, or maintenance.
Protection & backups
Many SaaS LMSs will have security tools that safeguard both the cloud-based platform and the information you save there. A SaaS LMS supplier must adhere to industry standards for data protection and cloud security. The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance. Service Organization Control (SOC) 2 certification, and IS0 27001 with Certification Europe. These are a few examples of third-party certifications.
There is no right or incorrect LMS provider when it comes to training. Although SaaS LMSs are the most common option, it ultimately depends on the training requirements of your company.
SaaS LMS solutions have advantages for both big and small enterprises. It’s crucial to remember that features and usability are everything. Traditional online learning techniques combine a variety of advantages and engaging elements to produce a fresh online learning environment. Together, these factors increase everyone’s accessibility to and comfort with online learning.