An important consideration when looking for LMS software for your company is whether to invest in a hosted solution (also known as ‘Software-as-a-Service’, or SAAS), or to invest in an in-house installed LMS.
Each type of solution has its pros and cons. In today’s post I’ll talk about the Top 5 Reasons to Choose a Hosted LMS. Tomorrow I’ll address some reasons to purchase an installed LMS.
1. You don’t have the resources to install and maintain an LMS.
If you don’t have an IT department ready, willing, and able to manage the software and hardware necessary for an installed LMS, a hosted LMS solution may be for you. Hosted LMS solutions are setup by the vendor, customized for your organization (more or less customization, depending on the vendor). Hardware maintenance and upgrades, as well as operating systems are maintained by the vendor. Because all hardware and software is supplied by the vendor, this type of solution is easy to implement.
2. You want to offer anytime, anywhere training.
With a hosted LMS solution, you can offer training to anyone with an internet connection and a modern web browser. There is no internal network security (although the LMS software may offer a secure connection), so people can access courses from any location, not just while they are at work.
3. You want to get up and running quickly.
There is no question that a hosted LMS solution is the quickest way to get your eLearning solution going. Although time to implementation will vary from vendor to vendor, you can typically be ready to go in just a few days. (This includes loading of user data, historical training records, configuration and customization of the LMS.)
4. You want upgrades included in the initial cost of the LMS.
Typically hosted LMS solutions include all upgrades in the subscription rate. This means that each time the LMS software is upgraded, you automatically receive the benefit of the new features without incurring any additional costs. Great for budget planning.
5. You want customer support and training included in the cost.
Most hosted LMS software vendors include some form of customer support in their fee structure – often including training. Not only is this a budget friendly item, it is a must-have when something goes awry (and something will go awry). It may be something simple (a user can’t see the course content because of a missing plugin), or it maybe something more complicated (you try to upload a SCORM course but it doesn’t seem to play back properly). Questions like these are answered quickly via customer support (maybe using Twitter or Facebook, or more traditional phone and email).