If you have decided on creating a Learning Management System platform for your online training courses, you have made the right choice. You will need to choose the different features of the LMS that you would want. But, one of the initial and the most crucial decisions that you will need to make is to decide if you need a self-hosted LMS or a cloud-based LMS. Since investing in an LMS will need a significant amount of time, money, and effort, you need to ensure that you are picking the right installation type.
Here are some of the top factors that will help you decide if you should opt for cloud LMS or self-hosted LMS over an on-premise LMS–
Scalability – The first criteria to choose an LMS would be to determine your current needs, and it might change in the coming years. If you expect the number of users to remain stable over the years, you can select the one that is the right fit for you. But, if you need to keep on making changes to the admins and the users of the LMS, you need to pick a scalable solution. Both self-hosted and cloud LMS allow scalability, but the major difference here is the cost. The cost of Cloud LMS will increase with the increase in the number of users. But, with self-hosted LMS, it is your team that needs to ensure that it is enough to accommodate the growing users.
Security and Disaster Recovery – The way your LMS vendor handles security is an important factor that you need to consider. Self hosted LMS will require you to have a strong technical team that would ensure security, backup, and also recovery of data in case of a system breakdown. Many people believe that self-hosted LMS hosting is more secure because they can easily set their own security policies and do not need to keep their data in the cloud. The truth is that modern cloud LMS is encrypted, and it is impossible for anyone to steal data from it.
Device Support Needed – If your company is small, any vendor will be able to provide the support you might need. But, if your company is big, you’ll have to compile a list of different devices and browsers that would need assistance. There was a time when employees worked on company desktops, but today employees are working on various devices such as their laptops, smartphones, and others. Thus, the LMS you select should run on those browsers used by the employees.
Flexibility – You need to look for custom LMS that can be integrated with other applications and systems easily. Even if you do not need them now, you might need them at a later stage. You need to look for a cloud LMS or a self-hosted LMS that will allow integration with other systems. If you opt for on-premise LMS, your team needs to have the technical expertise to deliver what you need.
Assessing your needs based on the above factors will help you decide if you’ll benefit from a self-hosted Learning Management System or a cloud-based one. You will be able to narrow down the vendors and the technical aspects of both types of LMS you are considering. If you are considering a cloud LMS, your vendor should be able to help you with most of the above factors and is an advantage for companies that do not want to set an in-house IT team for the LMS. But, if you want better control over your LMS and the way data are stored and used, self-hosted LMS might be the best option for you.