The corporate eLearning industry is booming. An article written in 2014 by Forbes contributor Josh Bersin¹ states, “We just released our newest research on the corporate Learning Management Systems market and the numbers are astounding. The market is well over $2.5 billion and grew by over 21 percent this year.” These statistics prove that Learning Management Systems (LMS) are doing a heck of a job meeting the needs of consumers. It is true that the LMS market encompasses various types of LMSs. Today the cloud-based LMS is drifting to the forefront of the eLearning industry. This is leaving enterprise LMSs in the dust. Arunima Majumdar reports, “According to the 2014 LMS Trends Survey conducted by the Brandon Hall Group, 54% of all deployed LMSs are in the Cloud. This is indicative of the slow but steady movement towards cloud-based LMS deployments.”
What Is a Cloud-Based LMS?
A hosted LMS is defined as “a web-based platform that companies can use to deliver, track and report on online courses assigned to their employees to complete. All of the learning takes place online and the resulting data is stored in the cloud".² This is a straightforward description of a fully-hosted LMS. It provides clarity for those considering eLearning system options.
Slowly but surely, company leaders are switching. Switching from in-house LMSs to cloud-based learning management systems. This is because hosted, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) LMSs are:
Cost effective – Overall, fully-hosted learning management systems are cheaper to implement. They are also cheaper to maintain than other types of eLearning systems. This is perhaps the most attractive characteristic of a remotely-hosted LMS.
Easy to maintain – Did you know that cloud-based eLearning systems are extremely easy to maintain? Usually, these LMSs have the capacity to upgrade and update themselves. Many hosted eLearning systems are maintained by their service provider, which means LMS users need not involve IT in the maintenance process. This is a huge draw for companies seeking a cost-effective eLearning option.
Preferred by users – Individuals who have implemented SaaS, hosted learning management systems tend to be satisfied with them. This is understandable when you consider the ease of use, reliability and affordability this type of LMS offers. Also, common features of cloud-based LMSs, including mobile learning, social learning, eCommerce, etc., make these eLearning systems desirable.
Efficient – Among other things, a cloud-based LMS is efficient. Since this type of LMS has no installation requirements, users are left with more time to focus on “getting to know” the LMS and creating online courses for their employees/learners.
Hosted LMSs Save Companies Money
As mentioned above, it’s probable that the most attractive characteristic of an LMS that is fully-hosted is affordability. Such LMSs save companies—particularly small-to-midsized companies—big money. Usually, these types of businesses don’t have the funds to maintain an in-house LMS, as it requires IT involvement and is associated with overhead fees. However, as Arunima Majumdar says in her article Benefits of the Cloud LMS, “A Cloud LMS allows you to reap the benefits of an enterprise LMS without having any associated overhead costs".³ Large companies can also benefit from a cloud-based LMS.
Those weighing out their eLearning system options should consider TOPYX, a SaaS LMS that is full featured. Not only does this award-winning LMS come loaded with mobile learning capabilities, language localization, social learning tools, Tin Can API, learning tools interoperability, and more, it also does not charge any per-user fees. This means that a company with 10,000 employees pays the same reasonable, one-time price as a company with 100 employees.
Is your company ready to jump on the cloud and experience the organizational benefits it offers? If so, implement a fully-hosted LMS and let the adventure begin.