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Cloud LMS or Hosted LMS: How Are They Different?
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
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Cloud LMS
As e-learning continues to gain momentum in employee training, the advantages of cloud-based learning management systems (LMSs) have become increasingly prevalent components for companies looking to offer practical and adaptable training methods. Before we proceed, let's understand the differences between cloud-based LMS software and a hosted LMS. 

There are two types of LMSs: 

  • SaaS or cloud LMS, also known as "on-demand" service 
  • installed LMS, or in-house, deployed, "on premise" service.

The main difference is that the cloud LMS is hosted on the supplier's servers and offered as service, while the installed LMS is offered as a product and is run on the servers within the organization's network. 
Both types offer entirely different user experiences, hosting capacities, structures, and resources, and are suitable for different budgets and implementation goals. However, here are eight benefits of a cloud-based LMS, and why it may be a better choice compared with a hosted LMS. 

1. Lower Expenses 

Because there is no software to buy, cloud-based LMSs can play a major role in reducing initial expenses. Additionally, you won't have to dedicate time to installing programs, fixing glitches, or ensuring that software is deployed properly company-wide. You just register with the LMS service provider and then start making your content and courses. As some e-learning software, as well as hardware, can end up being a sizable investment, the fact that cloud-based options are so affordable has made them particularly attractive for companies of all sizes.  

According to research, the global next generation LMS market is likely to grow at a compound annual growth rate of more than 26 percent. By 2020, more than 80 percent of organizations will adopt a cloud-based LMS to increase operational efficiency. 

2. Enhanced Accessibility 

Cloud-based LMSs offer better accessibility for both learners and course creators. Students can learn on the go, any place and anytime. They can simply sign into their LMS account and start learning new skills and extending their knowledge base, without limitations, and use different devices to access courses and data. Also, instructional creators can use their smartphones, tablets, or any other Internet-connected devices to share content and communicate with different associates and learners. 

 3. Faster Deployment

As a rule, a cloud-based LMS is faster to set up and requires less time for deployment. You could, in fact, sign up with a cloud-based LMS service provider one day and have learners utilizing the system the next. There's no equipment or software involved, so you can assess your LMS within a few minutes. This means you can begin training sooner, and start offering courses to learners in a fraction of the time you would need with a hosted LMS.  

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4. Predictability of Costs 

With a cloud-based LMS, you’re more likely to know precisely the amount you will pay every month, because there won’t be any sudden maintenance charges or update costs. Typically, there are different service and hosting packs, so you can pick the one that fits your company's needs, instead of obtaining a package software program that incorporates things that might be extraneous. For the most part, a cloud-based LMS offers administrators the ability to pick arrangements based on the number of registered users or anticipated activity. 

 5. Scalable and Adaptable  

Regardless of whether you are a smaller company looking to train employees or an enterprise corporation aiming to offer online courses for students, a cloud-based LMS is an ideal solution. It offers the best of both worlds, because it’s cost efficient and has a higher rate of adoption. Administrators have the freedom to modify and scale their LMS plan, allowing them to provide the best user experience possible to their students. 

6. Easy Maintenance 

Typically, cloud-based LMS service providers have IT staff on hand, so you won't need to stress over fixing bugs and different LMS operation issues. Also, patches and updates are usually included, so you’ll get new features and updated functions as long as you're using the service. This makes keeping your LMS at the perfect state easy and enables you to commit your IT resources to different needs.  

7. More Storage Space 

One of the biggest benefits of using a cloud-based LMS is that you won't have to store data on your computers or devices. The majority of the information, including pictures and content, will be transferred automatically to the LMS, which saves space on your hard drives. Different clients, such as teammates and content makers, will likewise have the ability to share the data, given that it's being stored on a remote (and secure) server. Also, you will no longer need to stress over data being lost because of corrupted hard drives or erased PC documents, because the greater part of your e-learning content will be stored in the cloud. Aside from having the information safely stored in the cloud, you have no reason to worry about storage—no matter how much data you need to keep, the provider servers will be able to support them. 

8. Better Information Security  

While numerous companies and institutions utilize learning management systems, they typically use online social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook, for communications with teammates. However, these social networks don't have the security features offered by a cloud-based LMS. For instance, different designers can share data and communicate remotely through the LMS without worrying about information being lost or stolen, given that they are located on platforms that are better encrypted and more secure for use. To aid that objective, LMS providers may use a set of advanced methods to guarantee security and protection of their client base. 

If you're looking for a cost-effective LMS solution, then the cloud-based LMS may be the best option. With minimal start-up costs and low maintenance required, cloud-based solutions are an ideal choice for any company, regardless of size or budget.

About the Author
Kamy Anderson is an ed-tech enthusiast with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of corporate training and education. He has more than years seven of experience working with ProProfs learning management system and other e-learning authoring tools, which has given him hands-on experience with the latest course authoring software and the e-learning industry.
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