Online tools are a necessary part of every modern business, and LMS systems are definitely on the must-have list. The digital market is getting crowded (rather over crowded), every business leader needs to strive towards finding the perfect tool that will enhance the efficiency of the whole company. However, choosing the right LMS (Learning Management System) can be overwhelming – there’s a wide selection of these solutions you can chose from.
In order to be confident about your decision, in-depth research is necessary. The fact is that all of them have the same purpose – to provide a functioning base of information. But, in order to truly bring the way you do business to a whole new level, you need to understand what you are paying for and should you do so. Therefore, you should get yourself informed about the differences between an open source LMS and its SaaS counterpart.
Things should know about Open Source LMS
The idea behind an open source library is to provide knowledge to a wider audience. However, introducing an open source LMS to your business offers more benefits than just being an online library. If you use it to its full potential, you’ll be able to continuously increase the level of efficiency in your company.
Learning and Training
An open source LMS enables online collaboration between employees and in real-time. An amazing thing – and this goes for both systems – is that it’s a very useful aid when it comes to remote employment and outsourcing, both of which are trending topics right now.
So, by using an open source system, you will be able to provide a knowledge source to the whole team that can be used for further skill development and training. Different employees can work on the same document simultaneously and thus complete and learn from each other.
Open to Edit
An open source LMS system provides different editing tools for various types of content. This can be very useful not only when it comes to training your employees but also when updating outdated information.
Considering the fact that it’s necessary to introduce a system like this to any business right now, small businesses and startups turn to open source LMSs because they are cost-effective.
It Requires Maintenance
This would be a downside to using an open source LMS. The point of an open source library is that anyone can contribute and add different files which can lead to a chaos in time. You will not be paying for an LMS, but you will need at least one employee dedicated to maintaining your database regularly.
Connection with Audience
Using this software is an excellent opportunity for you to present your business to the public. If you enable your target audience to have an overview of the inside information, the way you do work will be transparent, which will bring your customers and clients closer to your brand.
Things you should know about SaaS LMS
A web-based LMS has advanced options when compared to an open source one, which actually answers our question – SaaS LMS is paid because it offers higher functionality. Other than that, it provides a cloud-based system built for sharing different kinds of data, and it has additional perks.
It is very easy to adopt this system to any type of business without any customization. This is what makes SaaS LMS popular – you can start using it right away.
Centralized Big Data Hosting
Unlike open source LMSs, this online tool can withhold big data and keep it organized. A feature like this is very important if you want to have a clear overview of your archives, analyze them, and apply that data to other aspects of your business.
We already mentioned the importance of remote employment for contemporary business and how both of these ease this type of collaboration. However, the difference is in capabilities – a SaaS LMS can support the collaboration of not just several parties, but several different businesses.
A system such as this one needs serious maintenance, which is another reason why SaaS LMS is paid for. When introducing it to your business, you will not only get access to this software but IT support as well. Obviously, a support team is necessary for your online work to be glitch-free.
In the end, let’s sum up. Both are simple to navigate and don’t usually require a learning curve to use them. So, when you introduce any of these LMSs to your business, you can start using them right away. In addition, both of them can be accessed remotely. It will increase productivity and decrease the time necessary to successfully complete a task. The key difference between them is the ability to store information and withhold multiple users. Unlike open source, SaaS LMS comes with IT support and a better system of organization.
Making this decision and choosing between these two pieces of software should be based on the needs of your business. Obviously, SaaS LMSs offer options of higher quality, but the real question is whether your company reached that level. Will purchasing a software as a service LMS actually bring a return of investment for you?
Kamy Anderson is an ed-tech enthusiast with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of corporate training and education. He is an expert in learning management system & elearning authoring tools – currently associated with ProProfs.