The cloud-based LMS is here to stay. Here’s why you should make the switch.

• 5 min read

The cloud-based LMS is here to stay. Here’s why you should make the switch.We can’t deny it; the world has turned upside down and we’re all not sure what the future holds.

Those of us who are fortunate enough to be working during this pandemic are having to make changes to our daily routines, meetings with colleagues, and the way in which we work.

With all of this uncertainty, one thing is clear – remote working software is here to stay and will only get more sophisticated.

When it comes to Learning Management Systems, one could argue that now is the perfect time to be investing in the personal development of your teams, and (therefore) the development of your organization. But how can you do that with an on-premise LMS?

It’s time to look to the future and start the transition to a cloud-based LMS – here’s all you need to know on the subject and tips on how to make the transition seamless.

What is a Cloud-Based Learning Management System?

A cloud-based LMS is a learning tech solution that is accessible from anywhere with an internet connection and hosted on the web. All information is housed (in the cloud) and learners can log into a web portal to gain access to the platform from any device.

Unlike locally hosted LMSs, a cloud-based LMS doesn’t require you to install specific hardware or software in order to use the technology.

So why are so many organizations still operating on an in-house or on-premise LMS? Something’s gotta give.

Related: Cloud Based e-Learning Platforms: 10 Advantages eLearning Professionals Need To Know

What is the Difference Between On-Premise and Cloud-Based?

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure this one out – on-premise LMSs are hosted locally and only available on the specific laptop or desktop that it is downloaded to.
Cloud-based LMSs, however, are hosted on remote servers, meaning that you have access to your platform from any device, anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection. This accessibility is also extended to your employee base, who can choose to access their learning content on the go, facilitating learning in the flow of work.

On-premise LMSs require some hefty installation – something that takes more time and effort and oftentimes requires the assistance of your IT team.

On the other hand, cloud-based LMSs can usually be downloaded from the vendor in minutes and once this is done, you have instant access to your dashboard.

An on-premise LMS generally requires a ‘one and done’ payment, as you buy the platform license upfront and have to manage the costs in one go. Although this works for some, this also means that your platform is generally not updated with latest features etc.

Due to the nature of cloud-based LMSs, you tend to subscribe on a monthly or annual basis and have the constant attention of the vendor – any bug fixes, updates, or new features are automatically linked to your account and applied to your platform. The downside to this, however, is that cloud-based LMSs tend to have more maintenance fees involved as a result.

Your on-premise LMS is owned outright by your organization, but with that comes the limitations of your license. Upon signing your agreement, you decide upon a certain amount of storage and bandwidth that your system can handle – when your headcount increases, you quickly run out of space.

We should always be looking to the future in business, and with that comes the need to scale our teams. To plan ahead strategically, cloud-based LMSs allow you to increase your bandwidth and storage at any point, meaning that your software can grow with your business.

The last thing you need when your business is on the up is to have to overhaul your entire LMS system to accommodate new talent, instead, a cloud-based LMS lets you be future proof.

Related: 5 Signs It’s Time To Switch Your LMS

Benefits of Cloud-Based LMSs

Improving the learner experience:
Cloud-based LMSs allow users to access programs and data from any device and location, with some content even being able to be accessed offline. In the era of mobile learning, the ability to access your learning material via your smartphone, tablet or laptop without losing your progress and data is extremely important and facilitates just-in-time learning.

Future-proof your platform:
As touched on above, there is no better way to future-proof your business from whatever may arise with software on the cloud. Whether your business is growing, or your employees are working remotely, having access to your Learning Platform from anywhere, at any time gives you the flexibility to react to any circumstance.

It’s no secret that cloud-based systems are more secure than in-house IT infrastructures. With laptops broken and external storage misplaced, it’s not worth the risk of housing all of your important data where it can be so easily lost.

Cloud solutions have a variety of safety measures in effect, from data encryption to SSL. You can even password protect certain sections of the eLearning platform to ensure that only certain individuals are granted access. If there are any attempted breaches, the system will automatically document the incident as well as any pertinent details.

In addition, with Single-Sign-On (SSO) allowing for easy and secure access to your cloud software, you can be safe in the knowledge that your platform is secure while still being accessible from anywhere.

Related: 5 key security points to consider while evaluating a Cloud LMS

How to Make a Seamless Transition to the Cloud

Make a Seamless Transition to the CloudWhile you may have decided that it’s time to switch, you probably also wish it would happen quickly and without issues. Here’s some things to keep in mind:

Data and Content Migration:
Migrate all data – including content and customer – from your current LMS to the new LMS with zero-loss. Your cloud-based Learning Technology provider should allocate dedicated teams to ensure that this process goes smoothly.

New Tech Training:
L&D admins may know your on-premise LMS like the back of their hand, but a cloud-based LMS will have many different functionalities. To help shorten the learning curve, take advantage of free trials of top learning tech platforms, and ensure that your vendor offers support on using the platform to make sure your team is getting the most out of it.

Great cloud-based software doesn’t operate in a silo, and there’s no point in purchasing something that doesn’t slot in naturally with your existing tech stack.

When looking at cloud-based learning technology providers, make sure to ask about integrations and how your new LMS can fit in with the other systems at your company.

Related: Maximize Your Learning Platform’s Potential With These Integrations

So, why Should you Switch to a Cloud-Based LMS?

If the above didn’t give you enough of a reason, let’s bring our minds back to the present – Businesses that do not operate on the cloud are facing enormous issues in the wake of COVID-19, and the impact will be monumental.

Frankly, who knows how business will change as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, what the lasting effects of working remotely will be or even when things will start to get back to ‘normal’. All we know is that we can’t sit back and ignore it, we have to react to our situation and keep our businesses moving forward.

Get in touch with our team today to help make your switch fast and pain-free!