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9 Factors That Determine the True LMS Costs, Part 2

Published Mon Oct 08 2018

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Did you account for all the essential expenses in your LMS budget? In this two-part article, we’ll highlight the main factors to consider when calculating your LMS costs. Here is the second part in the series.

The True LMS Costs: 9 Factors to Consider

6. Tool Replacements

Ideally, the LMS you choose should be compatible with tools you already have at your disposal. However, you may discover that your new LMS doesn’t mesh with third-party e-learning authoring tools, CRM software, and other essential assets. As a result, you’ll have to invest in replacement tools to fill the gap and stick to your scheduled launch date. Another cost to think about is data migration. You must transfer all of your existing user data to the new system, which requires time and resources.

7. Additional Support Services

Support services vary by LMS vendor. Some may provide online FAQs and user communities, while others offer more comprehensive support options, such as 24/7 phone assistance or email contacts. Ask the LMS vendor what support services they include in the package. Then, determine whether it’s adequate for your needs or if you need to invest in an upgrade. For instance, e-learning teams with less LMS experience may require one-on-one support. Thus, it may be wise to pay the additional fee if it allows you to get more from the tool.

8. Upgrades and Updates

This is a cost that many organizations overlook. As is the case with any tech tool, an LMS becomes outdated as time goes on. To stay current, the LMS vendor must incorporate new features and functions, which allows you to provide more effective online training experiences for your audience. However, this comes at a price. Some LMS vendors include free upgrades and updates in the initial LMS costs; others invite you to upgrade the LMS for a fee. This usually depends on the pricing model. For example, subscription-based services typically include free updates, but licensed tools do not.

9. Ongoing Maintenance

Undoubtedly, one of the most crucial costs to consider is LMS maintenance. This includes keeping your online training content fresh and downloading add-ons to make it more efficient. It also applies to L&D payroll, as you’ll need a dedicated team to maintain the system. Another ongoing expense is monthly subscription fees or licensing renewals. It’s best to create an itemized breakdown of the LMS costs you must cover every month, so that there aren’t any surprises. You should leave some room for unexpected expenses, as well.

Are any of these items missing from your LMS budget? If so, you may want to factor them into the equation to calculate the true cost of owning an LMS. You might also consider a meeting with your L&D team to identify any fees you may have overlooked; they are familiar with LMS operational costs and can offer a more accurate estimate for ongoing LMS maintenance.

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