LinkedIn’s 2020 Workplace Learning Report states that “57% of L&D pros expect to spend more on online learning” in the future. If you’re one of those professionals, you want to optimize your budget by choosing the right learning management system (LMS) type for your business.
LMSs come in a variety of types suited to different company priorities and employee learning styles. By understanding the various kinds of LMSs, you can make an informed decision for your organization.
This is a decision you’ll want to think carefully about before moving forward—switching to a new LMS 6 months down the road is a huge headache. But choosing the right LMS is a golden opportunity to kick your learning programs off with a bang and instill a culture of growth and learning among your employees.
As Sumo Logic puts it, software deployment consists of the actions needed for users to be able to use a software. The type of LMS deployment model determines how you set it up for initial and ongoing operations.
Cloud-based LMSs run on cloud computing—computing delivered over the internet from another company’s infrastructure. In other words, the LMS provider runs their platform’s hardware and network on their end while you access the LMS on the internet.
On-premises LMSs run on your company’s infrastructure. Your organization will install this type of LMS on-site using your hardware and network.
An open-source LMS comes in the form of a base code that you download and customize according to your company’s needs. You’ll get access to the underlying language that controls every aspect of the LMS to adjust its features.
If you can’t find an LMS deployment type that fits your preferences, you can custom build one for your business. Companies who do these either build a solution in-house, or hire a third party to create a custom solution.
Different types of LMSs have pricing models that range in cost and payment delivery. The LMS cost options available allow organizations with various budgets to invest in an LMS.
As the name implies, free LMSs cost no money to install or run. This type of LMS often comes in an open-source deployment model.
Freemium LMS software starts at a free price and includes optional features or functionality for an extra cost.
Software as a service (SaaS) is a software model that delivers features through a cloud-based model (see above). Microsoft frames the SaaS model as “renting the use of an app for your organization.”
A one-time/perpetual software license requires a single purchase to use instead of ongoing payments.
LMSs fall into different feature sets and categories based on the ways that they deliver learning content. A single software can have multiple types of LMS styles at once.
In its most basic form, an LMS uses SCORM, a technology model made up of content blocks readable across LMS programs. The other types of LMS formats often build on the traditional LMS model.
A learning experience platform (LXP) presents LMS content in a personalized and on-demand library.
Talent suites combine LMS and LXP features with a focus on skill analytics, career mobility, and reskilling. They create a professional context for the knowledge shared in the platform.
A Collaborative Learning platform is built on the principle that employees learn best when they’re learning from and with one another. This platform decentralizes the learning process to empower everyone to request and teach courses. All users can request or teach content for faster course creation, content updates, and scalable learning.
As you choose the type of LMS you want to use for your company, keep your technological resources, budget, and team learning style in mind. By comparing these traits to the available kinds of LMS, you’ll find a solution that enables more effective learning.