Is A Cloud-Based Learning Management System A Wise Investment?
LMS platforms are incredibly versatile. You can create and undertake training modules, perform administrative tasks, and maintain internal communication. Cloud-based solutions typically don’t need programming expertise to use them, which is ideal for organizations that don’t necessarily have room in their budget for a dedicated IT team to maintain the tool. But there are lots of other considerations, and these are questions you need to ask yourself before contacting the vendors. What areas should you be digging into, and how can you determine if a cloud-based Learning Management System is best for your business in the first place?
Questions To Help You Determine If A Cloud-Based LMS Is The Right Choice
1. Do We Need To Provide Remote Training To External Partners?
Extended enterprise covers non-contracted sales teams, field distribution centers, and even customers. They’re not necessarily beholden to your brand but a symbiotic part of your sales machine. Because you’re literally “not the boss of them,” they have no access to your internal systems. Therefore, your cloud–based learning system needs the capacity to train and communicate with these external elements of your organization. For example, to provide compliance training so they are always up-to-code.
2. Do In-house Employees Need Access To Support On-the-go?
The previous question deals with trainees who may or may not be physically based in your office. In some cases, your policies do not necessarily cover them. Also, because they’re not employees, there’s certain information they shouldn’t have access to. So, they can’t just log in as everyone else does. This second question is about staff members who routinely work outside the office. They need a mobile app and/or remote access so that they can consult JIT resources. Or they might need training tools with offline access for when they’re far from the internet.
3. Apart From Training, What Else Do We Need Our LMS To Do?
We’re often so focused on using our cloud-based systems to design customized courses and deploy them on a grander scale. We forget there are other things we need it to do, like log timesheets or prepare quotations and invoices. They may even need to collate and follow up on customer complaints. If your LMS is great at course design but can’t do these other things, you may need to keep shopping. List the features you need so you don’t leave anything out. With so many criteria, it’s easy to overlook something important. Even if your top choice doesn’t offer these built-in tools, it should at least be compatible with your existing software.
4. Which Parts Of Our Current LMS Work (And Which Ones Don’t)?
If you’re in the market for a new LMS, there’s probably something wrong with your old one. Make sure you have a clear picture. Which features do you want that your existing software doesn’t have? Can your vendor create an upgrade to include these features? Can you purchase compatible supplementary plug-ins to provide the missing functions? If there are things you love about your current LMS, double-check whether any prospective purchase contains those features too. If your current platform is lacking in some regard, evaluate whether it’s truly a matter of accessibility or if there are inherent problems with your strategy and/or other aspects of the tool.
5. How Important Is Collaboration To Our Organization?
Online training is largely a solitary task. That’s part of its appeal – nobody pushes you. You set your own pace. But it can also be a flaw because it can get lonely without moral support. So, if cohesion and teamwork are a key part of your organizational vision, a cloud-based Learning Management System can enable joint training. This could take many forms, such as a built-in chatroom or internal messaging app, teleconferencing tools, simultaneous log-in options for group tasks, and mobile capability for real-time interaction with remote and/or out-of-office colleagues.
6. Is Our Corporate Space A BYOD Environment?
Certain staffers – like sales teams – are often given office phones and office cars. Other organizations give their employees talk-time and mobile data but insist they use their own phones. In IT environments, some employees prefer to bring their own laptops to work because it has the specs they need. In all these scenarios, you may end up with a mix of electronic brands, models, and OS. Even if you use a standard vendor, your machines will have different years of manufacture. Check that your cloud-based LMS is compatible with all of them.
7. Does Branding REALLY Matter To Us?
For some companies, branding is just about slapping a logo onto ordinary things. Other organizations have detailed brand books that dictate everything down to font size. Some cloud-based LMS options limit white labeling. So, they may not have as many branding options as you’d like. If it’s crucial to your brand mission, find an LMS with customizable visuals and palettes.
8. Can Our In-House Team Handle Support And Maintenance?
One of the perks of owning a cloud-based Learning Management System is that vendors generally take care of the upkeep, at least from a software/tech standpoint. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about hiring a dedicated team to customize the platform or upgrade the system periodically, as the vendor does all of this for you. That said, regardless of which platform you choose, you must still consider content maintenance, revisions, and other ongoing tasks.
We’re routinely told to research carefully before we buy LMS. But we don’t always know what to look for, so we’re unclear about what we’d like to ask. Some areas to consider are how much of your workforce is remote and/or mobile. Think about your non-training needs and what you (dis)like about your current LMS. Consider the collaboration levels you require and the types/brands of devices represented at your firm. Then decide whether branding is a priority. Based on your answers, determine which features are must-haves, then pick a SaaS product that has all your essentials and matches your budget.
Choose the perfect cloud-based platform for your company that offers the features you need at a price you can afford. Our exclusive online directory includes the top cloud LMS solutions available today. You can even filter results by use case, industries, pricing model, and other essential criteria.