Think long-term when selecting your learning management system
Every business owner wants to envision their business growing and thriving. Success is more attainable now than ever before with the help of a learning management system; businesses of all sizes can afford to train their employees to gain a competitive advantage and help achieve their goals. However, it is important to make sure that your learning management systems can keep up with your business and grow with you.
Most LMS providers are developing their systems with scalability features to continually meet the changing needs of growing businesses. Gone are the days of purchasing a “one-size-fits-all” system, implementing an LMS is now a more personalized experience tailored to your specific initiatives. But even with these new development practices becoming standard, not every LMS on the market will be able to satisfy your specific business needs as you continue to grow –you may find that some of these lower-level systems will actually reach a point where they are more harmful to your business than they are helpful. When making decisions in your business, it’s always wise to look towards the future – reconsider implementing a system that truly will be able to scale and grow with your organization.
Here are three main questions to ask about how a learning management system can scale to continually meet your organization’s needs:
- 1. How will my overall system costs change as my business changes?
Most learning management systems offer multiple pricing levels based on number of user accounts and/ or features offered- you’re only paying for what you’re using. You can opt to increase or decrease user accounts and features; tailoring your LMS to fit your organization exactly and saving money in the process. It is important to make sure that the pricing models offered by the LMS vendor will be continually beneficial to your organization as your requirements grow and you move into higher pricing levels. The pricing might make sense now with your 50 users, but not down the line when you grow to 500 or 5000 users.
- 2. Can the LMS features scale to meet my growth?
While we never advocate purchasing an LMS that has every “bell and whistle,” features are very important to consider when evaluating how a system will grow with you. Whether you’re replacing an existing system or purchasing one for the first time, it’s essential to take a good look into the future of your business and consider what LMS features you need right now and down the road. Vendors are becoming savvy to this and most will now allow you to purchase more advanced features as you require them after your initial implementation. There is no easy answer here, identifying required LMS features warrants a lot of reflecting on your business and its needs – think of your LMS as a long-term investment and you want to see a constant return. It’s always better to look ahead than to say “we should have!”
- 3. Will the LMS continue to perform as my requirements change?
Scalability in the context of short term and long term performance requirements is a primary concern for organizations. Don’t limit yourself to a small, simple system because your immediate needs will not require a large number of user or advanced features. Explore the technology that is being used to house your solution and ensure that it will scale to your expected future needs. Some systems work fine for smaller, less demanding use cases, but will choke as the demands increase. Talk to your vendor about what you can expect and make sure that they have the history of past performance to ensure confidence in your buying decision.
We hope that this helps give you some insight into thinking how you can future-proof your LMS purchasing decision, be it your very first implementation or upgrading from an existing system. It’s pretty easy to get overwhelmed and remained focused on your short-terms LMS goals without thinking about the long-term ramifications of how the system will grow with your business.
Of course, our team here at ICS Learning Group, creators of the Asentia LMS, would be happy to speak with you more in-depth about LMS scalability and provide recommendations for how Asentia can be used to improve your training efficiency and effectiveness – now and in the future. We’d love to hear from you!
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