The name “LMS solutions” refers to learning management systems that are used for the development, management, and distribution of educational materials and for providing general access.
We can divide the majority of modern LMS solutions into two main categories:
- SaaS LMS;
- Self-Hosted LMS solutions;
Here, we will discuss what is SaaS training software, what are its main benefits, and whether is it always the optimal solution for a modern organization.
What Are SaaS LMS Systems?
SaaS LMS (Software as a Service Learning Management System) are learning management systems that are cloud-based and are provided as a service.
But unlike traditional LMS solutions that are installed and maintained on the company’s servers, SaaS LMS systems are cloud-based and don’t require installation and maintenance.
SaaS vs. Self-Contained LMS
A modern cloud-based training platform has several specific features:
- It’s cloud-based. The system itself and its data are kept on the provider’s servers. There is no need for a user to install and maintain the LMS solution.
- The subscription payment model. Instead of paying once, you are supposed to subscribe, and it includes a relatively small sum of money which is paid by the client every month.
- Updates and maintenance on the provider’s side. The SaaS LMS provider is responsible for updates, security patches, and system maintenance, freeing users from these tasks.
Some examples of such LMS systems include TalentLMS, LearnUpon, and AbsorbLMS. They have proven themselves to be reliable solutions and are quite universal. Although it still has nuances, but it will be discussed below in the text.
SaaS LMS Benefits
Let’s have an objective exploration of the benefits of a modern SaaS learning management system. It has plenty of them!
The Cloud Base
Since SaaS is cloud-based, there is no need to install and maintain software or use hardware. You can get access to the software solutions through any device you have which has Internet access. Not only this is comfortable, but this also saves you a good deal of time.
The implementation of a SaaS takes way more time than the same process with a self-hosted LMS does. In some cases, a few minutes are enough to launch and integrate such an LMS. You don’t spend time and money on the complex processes of installation and setup. You just choose the necessary functions and options, upload the content and invite users.
Simple Modernization and Updates
A SaaS LMS system is enhanced and updated by the provider. This frees you from additional losses in terms of time and money, to actualize the functionality and the data in the LMS system. Also, you will have access to the most modern and safe solutions for learning.
At the same time, if you lack a certain function, you won’t be able to add it yourself. You will just need to wait till the provider will include it, and you never know if he will.
Considering the quite intense competition in the niche of SaaS LMS systems, providers tend to add the relevant functionality and enhance their systems as quickly as possible.
As a client, you benefit from it as you get a wide spectrum of functions that help you create various types of content, integrate them into the educational system, include gamification elements, and so on. The development of modern SaaS LMS solutions has proven itself to be impressive.
Modern SaaS LMS solutions offer their users a range of ways you can integrate them with numerous other applications and services that you use for your business and can make eLearning SaaS even more effective.
You can synchronize data and functions between an LMS and your CRM and HRM systems, email, social networks, and so on. This will help you automate different processes, increase productivity, and improve communication.
Another benefit of SaaS LMSes is that you can choose the tariff and subscription that will most fully meet your requirements, wishes, and financial capabilities. You can find affordable solutions and pay only for the things you use. And if necessary, you can change the tariff and expand the functionality as your business grows. Also, in the majority of cases, you can unsubscribe anytime if you don’t need a SaaS LMS anymore.
Security and Backup
A high-quality SaaS LMS guarantees you a high level of security and confidentiality of the platform and user data. An LMS provider, especially if we are speaking about niche leaders, uses innovative technologies related to encryption, authentication, and hacking protection to prevent any threats or leaks.
It also performs regular backups of your system and data on remote servers so that you can quickly restore your work in case of any failures or losses.
Is SaaS LMS Always the Best Option?
This is an interesting aspect to analyze. At first glance, cloud LMSs are objectively the best choice for any business today. And often it is indeed so. Especially considering the cost, which is much lower than implementing an individual Self-Hosted LMS.
Yes, in the long term, the difference is not so significant. But in the short-term SaaS products are much more profitable.
But why then SaaS LMS is not always the best option?
We can name at least three significant disadvantages of cloud systems that you can encounter in your work. Some of them are:
- Insufficient control or even complete loss of control. A cloud LMS one way or another forces you to rely on a third party — a service provider. That is, you cannot fully control your platform and data. We assume that you understand what can happen if a supplier suddenly closes and ceases its activity without warning. Also, there is a risk that lies in encountering issues in fields like performance and security, that are not usually present in self-hosted LMSes.
- Difficulties with the integration of some software. Although modern SaaS LMS usually provide extensive integration options with various software, some software may not be supported in a particular LMS. And considering the previous point, you will not be able to set up such an integration yourself and will have to wait for the supplier to set it up. You may have to wait very long. And as a result, the integration you need may not appear at all.
- Real financial risks. Any kind of problems on the server side, just like malfunctions, present risks for a business. A broken server or a DDoS attack – and now you can’t use your LMS solution anymore. In some cases, such situations are critical and completely unacceptable.
Depending on your business type, these problems can be insignificant or serious. This is why you need to assess your goals and abilities carefully before you choose a SaaS LMS.
Whatever the case, it is recommended to consider both options that are SaaS and self-hosted LMS solutions, to make a well-thought and objective choice. Also, in case you are interested in our individual LMS solutions, we recommend reaching out to our manager to discuss all the details.