2 Reasons Why Cloud Training In Large Enterprises Does Not Work

2 Reasons Why Cloud Training In Large Enterprises Does Not Work
Summary: If you read the news, it would seem that ‘the cloud’ is taking over the business world, and all of our processes will live there eventually, including training and development. Not so fast. While it’s true that the cloud has some wonderful features that are prime for certain business models, it is naive to think that it is the "be all and end all" for every company.

Cloud Training In Large Enterprises: Is It Working?

Of all the millions of businesses with unique needs, there is just no training solution (i.e., the cloud) that will be the ‘magic bullet’ that will work for everybody. And let’s face it, if you’re a large enterprise that is highly regulated, the cloud may never be an option for training.

Just think of all the industries out there that have a lot at stake – healthcare, government, aerospace, finance, pharmaceuticals. We’re talking the big boys like our United States Government, JP Morgan Chase, CVS Health, Walgreens, NASA, and Johnson & Johnson just to name a few.

Traditionally, there has been a big fear of the cloud for these types of businesses. And while the fear is gradually lessening it will not go away anytime soon. For most, when it comes to choosing an LMS, these companies will need to have everything, including training, behind the firewall. No ifs, and, or buts.

Not everyone agrees that there is a one-way on-ramp to the public cloud. Dell Technologies CEO, Michael Dell, recently told an audience at Fortune Brainstorm Tech that he’s seeing many companies move some key applications off of public cloud and back to their own data centers.

President of Equinix Americas, Karl Strohmeyer, also agrees with Dell adding that "We’re starting to see a reverse cloud trend". He goes on to say that CIOs who were once excited to save on the capital expense of building or leasing more of their own data centers are now starting to see the long-term impact of the operating expense costs for things like Box, Amazon Web Services, or Microsoft. "That stuff starts to get really expensive, so they’re now looking at which workloads they can host cheaper themselves and which are best suited to the cloud", Strohmeyer says.

1. On-Premise Training Is The Ticket For Larger Companies

Larger, more Fortune 500-type companies are a good example of a business that doesn’t always fair well using the cloud for training.

For one, IT managers have a laundry list of concerns and issues about training in the cloud including integration, SSO, security, database access, content access, and storage. And, one of the biggest impediments to public cloud computing adoption is the calculation of additional risk from all the unknowns, known, and otherwise.

For larger businesses, the costs of an on-premise system are actually less than a cloud-based LMS. Think of it like owning a home or car – the initial costs may be higher but over time you come out ahead of the "renters".

Another major plus for why large companies prefer on-premise is the control they have over updates and other issues. If there is a problem, you have your own IT team that is on-site to fix the issue. Not only that, but there is much more control over when and how your downtime and maintenance happens.

Being tied to the internet is another big deter for using the Cloud. How many times have you experienced the internet not working? Whether it’s too many people trying to access the internet and overloading it to severe weather or hackers, it’s a huge risk to put your sensitive data in the hands of the internet.

And lastly, a large corporation often have a very complex business and thus needs additional customization or third-party extension integration that only an on-premise system can provide.

2. The Cloud Strikes Fear For Highly Compliance Driven Businesses

Just like larger companies, those that are highly compliance driven are also onboard for on-premise training solutions. This is because of the risk associated with trusting a third party cloud solution to keep their data safe. Unfortunately, the safety of cloud computing isn’t standardized, so it’s very difficult to determine how well they are protecting your data.

Even just recently, there was legislation that could be passed in regards to internet privacy. Whether it is passed or not, it’s possible that sometime in the future internet service providers could be able to record and sell your internet usage data.

For an LMS, this means that your ISP may have access to user records, course content, and any other sensitive school or business information you use in your training. Depending on your company, that could mean clicks that reveal credit card information, HIPAA data, proprietary grading information… all potentially up for sale.

So, the question to consider when considering a cloud LMS is ‘how sensitive is your data?’ and/or ‘how much control over your data are you comfortable giving up to a third party?’. Only on-premise solutions can truly offer 100% control.


The cloud can be a good option for smaller businesses but for those that are larger, or are highly regulated, it is not always an option. On-premise solutions provide cost savings as well as higher security to address compliance issues.

For these businesses who must stay behind the firewall, using their SharePoint environment for training is a great solution. A SharePoint-based LMS takes advantage of active directory, established authentication and security processes and can integrate with most other systems. This is a huge benefit that will speed up the implementation process of other more tedious on-premise solutions.

For those companies that have upgraded to the newest version of SharePoint will have additional hybrid options as well. SharePoint 2016 will offer customers the ability to take advantage of cloud experiences while not giving up their on-premises infrastructure. This will give more options and solutions for trainers with varying degrees of on-premise investments.

eBook Release: ShareKnowledge
ShareKnowledge is an enterprise LMS that integrates with existing technologies while automating training, reporting and other business processes.