5 Between The Line Things Before Selecting A Cloud Based LMS

5 Things To Ensure Before Selecting A Cloud Based LMS
Summary: In this article we try to read between the lines and look at the softer aspects to be taken into consideration when selecting a cloud based LMS.

Selecting A Cloud Based LMS: Aspects To Be Taken Into Consideration

Oh no! Not again! Was that your first reaction? Yes – “Points to consider before choosing an LMS” is perhaps the most written about topic after Justin Beiber – or make that Jennifer Lawrence and her pics. But what we intend today is to take a rational look at the typical pointers that slip the minds of many first time eLearning adapters when scouting for a cloud based LMS.

The usual drill of course stands. Requirements analysis, prioritizing, budgeting, delegation of work, assessment of available options et al are a given. There are plenty of articles around the web those will give you a detailed list of the dos and don't s. Those are the check boxes you simply NEED to tick in buying an enterprise or cloud based LMS. However, in this post I intend to read between the lines and share a few things I've seen missing from my interactions with my Small and Medium Business owner clients. Here are the five important things an organization should take into consideration before they go for a cloud based LMS.

  1. Cloud Based LMS Features you REALLY need.
    The key is to keep it simple at least to start with. Typically as SMBs, the most
    important features to look for in a cloud based LMS are:

    • Tracking and reporting,
    • Assessment and testing tool,
    • Multi device compatibility,
    • Customization and branding
    • SCORM compliance, and
    • Course catalog and shopping cart.
      These features are virtually the Must Haves. You may need more like Classroom / Blended learning support, e-commerce enablement, integration with your legacy systems etc.
  2. Cloud Based LMS Capabilities of Administrators.
    Do you really have the resource capabilities and the bandwidth to manage the system? This applies for the learning as well as the IT administration parts. A big plus with cloud based LMSs is that the IT related headache is completely taken care of. Some vendors also provide Administration Assistance that will take care of even the day to day LMS related tasks like managing learner data and uploading content.
  3. Understand Your Audience.
    Finally they are the people who are going to make it a success or a failure. I’ve seen quite a few examples of LMSs lying unused with companies. It's all about the end-user. Keep their comfort and interest level in mind and make the LMS a happening place. Scout for the cloud based LMS features accordingly. A cloud based LMS is an organization-wide platform. So the easier it is to use the better it is for the users.
  4. Buy for today, tomorrow and the day after.
    A cloud based LMS may not be a business critical piece of software, but it is most certainly a good to have one. Switching platforms in learning can be as tedious as switching them on a railway station. So look for LMS vendors who provide different versions of the LMS to assist you throughout your journey of growth. A SaaS offering or a cloud based LMS is good to start with as it doesn’t pinch your wallet and gives all the desired features at the same time. But as you grow you may need an enterprise one.
  5. Take a fair trial.
    Easy at it sounds; it also points to the duration of the trial. Sometimes 14 days may not be enough to actually gauge the usability and impact of the system on the organization. So give yourselves fair time to assess the platform. Some cloud based LMSs offer a lifetime of access for a particular number of users. That can be a good starting point.

Implementing a new cloud based LMS is like learning to ride a bicycle – no one has got it right on day one. The key is to absorb the goodies the cloud based LMS brings for you and at the same time entice and engage the most important bloke in the picture – the learner.

If you are looking to implement eLearning in your organization, are looking for an LMS or courses or assistance – feel free to comment below or contract me. I will be happy to engage in a mutually rewarding conversation.