Cloud computing is being harnessed by business in all manner of ways including using its power to develop a new generation of cloud-based Learning Management Systems (LMS). But with the elearning landscape growing and changing, what benefits can a cloud-based LMS offer to organisations seeking to modernise and innovate?
Have you ever wondered how big the Cloud is? The answer is rather awe-inspiring.
It’s estimated that the global Cloud capacity – that is our ability to store data over the internet to remote servers - stands at one exabyte. This doesn’t hit home until you consider that the whole of human history - everything ever recorded, written, photographed or filmed - would fit into just five exabytes!
So the Cloud is mind-blowingly huge, but size is not the main factor attracting organisations to cloud-powered LMS platforms. There are practical benefits to hosting an LMS on the internet rather than buying traditional LMS software to host and manage ‘in house’. Here are the key advantages:
Ease of set-up
In the simplest terms, getting started with a cloud-based LMS should be as easy as sign up and go. With no software to install, test or integrate, the implementation time is vastly reduced. This rapid deployment allows organisations to focus on the learning content they want to deliver rather than wasting time on the logistics of getting up and running.
Cost of Ownership
A cloud-based LMS can be a much more affordable option than a ‘traditional’ LMS and not just because it is free from the burden of installation. It doesn’t require ongoing administration, maintenance, updating or staffing not to mention hardware or data storage. This all combines to make it a cost-effective solution for managing corporate learning.
The best cloud-based LMSs are staffed by specialist teams who known the system inside out. For example, Spark offers dedicated support to all learners provided by the team who work on nothing but the LMS. This level of knowledge and commitment may be hard to achieve with a ‘traditional’ LMS which may rely on internal ICT staff who have a lot to do elsewhere.
The latest statistics reported by Elearning Industry predict a big increase in mobile learning globally with an annual growth rate of more than 18% for the next five years. Cloud-based learning management systems fit well into this future because the best of the cloud-based LMSs can be accessed from any device. If a cloud-powered LMS is partnered with multi-device elearning content such as modules built in the Adapt tool, the combination is the ideal solution for organisations who want to invest in mobile learning. It offers people the ability to learn anywhere on any device at any time.
A cloud-based LMS offers limitless scalability without the need to purchase hardware. This is particularly beneficial for growing organisations or those who anticipate that their needs will change over time. In a survey of tech professionals, analysts and vendors, nearly 60% cited scalability as the top reason for choosing a cloud-based system.
It is the buzz word of the L&D sector but putting it into practice within a learning management system can be challenging. The top performing cloud-based teams strive to constantly improve their LMS – it’s their job! A good example is our Spark team who develop new features in a continuous process of innovation. The alternative for organisations with a ‘traditional’ LMS is for an in-house team to find time to develop innovations or bite the bullet and pay for new features.
The advantage of the huge capacity of a cloud-based LMS is not just in the storage space but in its resilience. It overcomes the problem of corrupted hard drives or over-capacity which can bring an LMS to a grinding halt. There is also protected access so data is safe and secure.
Supports a Global Workforce
For organisations operating across several countries or continents, a cloud-based LMS is a great option, allowing all employees to access the same content from the same system. Localisation and translation is also possible without the need to buy an entirely new product.
Corporate online training is expanding and also changing. The latest estimate suggests it will increase by 13% per year up to 2017. Many organisations are moving outside what we have come to know as the standard elearning module to incorporate a range of online training elements from games to interactive videos. Social learning is increasing and we are only just starting to understand the implications of things like wearable tech and augmented reality. With so many possibilities, a cloud-based LMS offers the level of flexibility required for such a dynamic future.
Explore what cloud-based LMS can deliver for you.