Hosting is the foundation of your LMS and should operate seamlessly and quietly in the background, allowing you to deliver your e-learning programmes with no or minimal disruption.
The latest evolution in learning management systems is the movement towards a fully hosted and managed cloud-based solution, more commonly referred to as a SaaS LMS.
SaaS stands for 'Software as a Service', where your LMS is sitting on a cloud server and accessed via the internet rather than being hosted directly on your computer.
And there are significant benefits of adopting a SaaS LMS over traditional ‘on prem’ software solutions.
As more and more forward looking businesses transition to a SaaS LMS to take advantage of today’s cloud-based world, it’s worth exploring exactly what some of these benefits are.
What exactly is a SaaS learning management system (LMS)?
A SaaS learning management system means the application and data is hosted on the internet/server by a specialist LMS vendor or service provider.
Access to the platform is via your web browser, with all the information of your users, content and data being securely hosted in the cloud.
This means that you have nothing to install, can get up and running much more quickly, have lower and simpler to understand running costs and aren’t locked into proprietary technology.
8 key benefits of a SaaS LMS
1. No need to be a technical expert
Perhaps the biggest benefit of a managed LMS hosting solution is the time and effort it saves you and your team when it comes to looking after things behind the scenes.
Self-hosting an LMS can be a complicated task, especially if things ever go wrong, and even if you have an in-house IT team you may not want to add to their workload.
A SaaS LMS removes that burden and places it on the hosting provider, meaning you don’t have to be the LMS technical expert – that complexity is now taken care of by your LMS supplier.
Alongside taking care of the technical issues that go with the traditional method of LMS hosting, a good SaaS solution will also provide you with additional expert product support whenever you need it.
That may be in the form of a limited number of support hours per month, as offered by some providers, or unlimited support like we offer here at Hubken.
You should feel like you’re able to contact your provider whenever you have an issue or query, so picking a provider that offers a good support network as part of your hosting package is key.
3. Fast and easy to deploy
A cloud-based LMS means that you can avoid lengthy implementation processes and unnecessary delays in getting your e-learning programme in front of your learners.
With nothing to install, time can be spent on your unique configuration, branding, etc. – no need for an IT team to get heavily involved, no costly infrastructure to set up, no time consuming time required for testing and working out bugs in the system.
4. Security and peace of mind
SaaS LMS solutions are highly secure. Cloud providers offer state-of-the-art security around their services, ensuring that any security concerns you may have can be alleviated. In today’s modern SaaS environments, your data is safe, secure and GDPR compliant.
For example, at Hubken, we use the best ISO 27001, Tier 3, UK located, highly resilient, GDPR friendly data centres and the most up to date technology to give you peace of mind when it comes to data security.
A modern SaaS LMS will come with user authentication, data encryption, and a whole host of additional safety protocols.
Keeping things in-house with a self-hosted LMS puts that burden on you, which can be both expensive and stressful. And your business may not have the same levels of technical security expertise on tap.
The ability to scale your LMS quickly and easily is important for those times that you need to add more users without any delays to their learning.
A SaaS LMS solution means that the infrastructure is already in place to easily scale or deal with sudden spikes in usage. This means that, even as your audience grows and your training needs expand, your learner’s experience will not suffer, enabling you to continue to deliver learning to all the users you need with no interruptions or delays.
6. Straightforward integration with 3rd party software
Many times, your LMS will not be a ‘stand alone’ system but will need to integrate with HR data or your CRM system for reporting purposes.
The readily available APIs that come with a SaaS LMS means that these systems can quickly and easily be set up to communicate with each other. And because they’ve been tried and tested across many different organisations, not only won’t they come with high fees, but they’re virtually guaranteed to work with minimal set-up time.
Again, most of the heavy lifting has already been done by the supplier.
7. Regular updates
An important thing to remember about LMSs is that they’re constantly evolving to keep up with the needs of users and administrators alike.
This means regular updates are commonplace for an LMS and you risk falling behind and encountering more problems down the line if you are slow to update or don’t bother updating your system.
Adopting a SaaS LMS means that all upgrades are done centrally, ensuring that everyone is using the latest version. These upgrades are done automatically, fast and without disruption to the service. And, as an added bonus, you’re not having to pay for them!
8. Lower cost of ownership
A cloud-based LMS also means that you can see a much faster return on your LMS investment.
The significantly lower costs in terms of infrastructure, upgrades, maintenance, security, bug fixes, added features, etc. make a SaaS training platform more cost-effective.
Get your LMS in the cloud
Whether you’re an SME or a large enterprise, there are several advantages to moving to a SaaS LMS.
The traditional self-hosted model is increasingly outdated, and it’s more important than ever before that organisation leaders understand the unique benefits of a cloud-based SaaS LMS solution.
If you’re looking to reap the benefits, the simplicity and the low cost of a cloud-based LMS, giving you all the tools that you need to deliver the training and development for your employees, talk to Hubken!