SaaS LMS: Definition, Advantages, and Tips
A learning management system (LMS) is a vital part of eLearning. Without an LMS, it would be impossible to deliver online courses and track their progress. There are different kinds of LMS, the most popular being a SaaS LMS. Let’s see what it is, why it’s so popular, and how to select the perfect solution for your case.
What is a SaaS LMS?
A SaaS LMS is a learning management system that’s hosted in the cloud, not on-site. Unlike a hosted “on-site” LMS, this LMS is available to everyone who has access. You don’t have to update and upgrade components of this LMS manually and can use it simply as a service. By the way, SaaS stands for “software as a service.” So, if you’re developing training for a team or audience that’s widely distributed, then they’ll be able to access your LMS from any place easily, at any time, day or night.
Advantages of a SaaS LMS
Ease of course deployment
You don’t need an IT team to deliver your courses to learners. Everything is already built out for you.
Extra control over training
Cloud-hosted LMSs allow you to add tools and integrations easily. For example, you can add a Zoom integration to your LMS almost right away, while with on-premise LMSs, it would take your IT task force weeks, at the very least.
Ease of scalability
If the number of your learners increased significantly, you can simply upgrade your LMS to an advanced plan. With a hosted LMS, you’d need to purchase more servers and then set them, update, etc.
Although you pay for SaaS LMS every month and for on-premise LMS just once, сhances are that SaaS LMSs will cost you much less. There are many other costs associated with running an on-premise server, including system-wide upgrades to both training content and the LMS itself, fixing network downtime or outages, and even branding. Because even the most basic, low-cost SaaS LMS takes care of all those tedious tasks, you save a lot of time and money.
How to choose the best SaaS LMS for your case
To find the LMS that will cover all your training needs, ask yourself the following questions:
Is my course content ready-made or do I need course authoring capabilities?
Will my course be published as SCORM packages?
Is my course fully self-paced, or will there be a synchronous, in-class element?
Is the SaaS LMS mobile-friendly? Does it offer a native mobile app?
What types of APIs and third-party integrations will I need?
Does the SaaS LMS vendor provide insightful reporting and analytics?
Once you’ve identified your criteria, find the solutions that answer them. Ask for a demo to see the LMS in action and test-drive your favorites if vendors offer this option. And then pick the one you liked most!
If you want to learn more, check out our article on SaaS LMSs. If you already have an LMS, please, share the criteria you used when selecting it, and whether your solution proved to be a perfect fit for your case. :)