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Have you read our eBook? The Hidden Costs of Buying an LMS

4 min reading time

Have you downloaded our free LMS Pricing eBook? Before choosing an LMS for your business or organisation, it’s important to ask all the right questions and arm yourself with the necessary information to inform your long-term learning strategy. From an ROI and cost perspective, this is particularly true. There are so many variables that go into determining the true cost of an LMS so identifying all the potential costly additions is an essential step to ensure your chosen LMS meets both your budget and L&D goals.  

Because there’s a lot to consider when evaluating the true cost of implementing a learning management system, we have put together a comprehensive guide exploring the pricing model and ‘hidden costs’ of buying an LMS. To give you an idea of what to expect from our handy guide, we’ve pulled together some extracts and key topics for you to preview in this article.  

Once you’re ready to read our full eBook, click here to download!


An extract from page 1: 

There is a myriad of learning management systems on the market today. And any one of them will do the basic job of storing, organising and delivering your e-learning content. However, once you decide to dig deeper into the vast variety of feature sets, functionalities and supporting services that the LMS vendors offer, the task of comparing them all in order to choose the one that best suits your unique needs soon becomes an arduous task.

For many businesses, the decision to change their LMS is easy. In fact, research by Brandon Hall Group shows that...44% of organisations are unhappy with their existing LMS, and 48% are exploring new or different learning technologies.

If your LMS isn’t working for you, the decision to change can be an easy one. However, the difficult part comes when trying to decide which LMS to buy and often the key to this decision is cost – the same research from Brandon Hall Group found that...LMSs also account for 38% of the average learning technology budget.

Remember, the true cost of an LMS is more than just the sticker price. Too many businesses only consider the up-front, monetary cost of potential offerings when deciding to change their LMS. The reality is that there is a plethora of costs, both upfront and hidden – and those costs can encompass time as well as money.


The first step, finding the right LMS model

Knowing which LMS model to choose is a daunting place to start. However, once you gain a basic understanding of the various models you will begin to understand the scope of some of the initial ‘up front’ costs. 


1. Cloud-based vs self-hosted LMSs  

All learning management systems can be divided into two main categories, depending on how they are deployed: Cloud based and self-hosted. 

Using the steps in our eBook, complete our suggested exercise to help you determine which direction your organisation is likely to go when choosing an LMS. This is probably the best starting point for your research as it will help you narrow down many of the vendors right from the start whilst also shedding some light on the hidden costs that are associated with a learning management system. 

2. Free and open-sourced LMSs 

Open-source LMSs are learning management systems that can be accessed for free and customised to suit an organisation’s needs. If you decide to host the system yourself, the first major cost you will encounter is the need to set up a server for your open-source LMS.  

The next challenge with adopting a ‘free’ LMS is the need to customise it so that it fits your organisation’s specific needs. This means adding and removing features and changing user experience and design. 

There are also recurring costs. Not only will you need to pay hosting and security certificate fees, but you will require at least one administrator to keep track of site and server and learner issues. 

3. Pay-per-user cloud-based LMSs 

The pay-per-user systems are cloud-based and fully hosted by your LMS partner, which means no software downloads, installations and updates are required on your side. This SaaS LMS model is increasingly becoming the preferred route for organisation’s looking to introduce or switch to a new LMS. 
In our eBook you will find a further exploration of how this LMS model can benefit your organisation keeping in mind the implementation process, ongoing technical support, and upgrades etc. 


Exploring the hidden costs 

The true hidden costs of an LMS refer to all the costs that you often only find about after you’ve chosen your learning management system. In fact, it’s often the learning management systems with higher ‘hard costs’ that have the lowest hidden costs.  

The key point that we’re making is that simply considering the hard costs when looking to switch or buy an LMS isn’t enough…you need to consider the hidden costs when deciding about your LMS purchase. 

It’s hard to identify and understand where the hidden costs lie once you’ve chosen your LMS. However, we’ve made it easy for you in our LMS eBook and put together a list of some of the fundamental points you need to consider. Here is a brief overview of what to expect: 

  • Implementation and set-up fees 
  • Upgrade fees
  • Integration costs
  • Software updates
  • Customisation fees
  • Mandatory training
  • Support Costs
  • L&D staff costs
  • Add-on software costs
  • Mobile learning app 

With so many e-learning LMS providers, you must dig further into your analysis of which provider to choose. With all of the features and benefits that each provider has, don’t be afraid to ask questions. After all, you want an e-learning LMS to be cost-effective, feature-rich, scalable, and robust. 


Why choose Hubken? 

Hubken Group is a specialist e-learning solutions company with a clear mission – to make e-learning accessible to all. As Totara and Moodle experts, we design and deliver high quality e-learning solutions for leading UK businesses, building lasting relationships so that they can realise the full potential of their learning and development projects. 

Hubken Group provides complete management of Moodle and Totara e-learning systems, including cloud hosting, implementation, integrations, and exceptional service and unlimited customer support. When it comes to training employees, members, or your customers, our expert teams can help you create powerful LMS solutions that deliver exceptional performance. 

Download our eBook now to learn more about the hidden costs of an LMS and delve further into our solutions, including our cost effective HubkenCore packages which offers all the key services and tools you need.


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