Cloud based LMS (Software as a Service) is basically a subscription to a Learning Management System centrally hosted in the cloud. SaaS is the way most software is delivered these days. It exists in a virtual space and you just hook into it, letting the hosting company deal with maintaining and updating the service. Google Drive and Dropbox are good examples of cloud-based storage services.
In the case of an LMS, an cloud based LMS solution is probably the best way to handle your Learning Management System. There are some good reasons for making this statement.
One, you don’t have to hassle with compatibility issues with outdated servers or work stations or spend a fortune on new hardware.
Two, SaaS solutions are very flexible when it comes to multi-platform delivery, including on mobiles and tablets.
Three, updates are pushed from the service provider, meaning that you don’t need an IT expert to handle complex installations.
Four, costs are often based on a much simpler pricing model such as sliding scales for number of users (smaller companies) or enterprise (large-scale) implementation.
Fifth, and perhaps most important, there are new protocols to keep your data safe, although that security depends on the provider.
You will find when you start shopping around that many third party providers of LMS SaaS solutions will pile on the extra charges, like 24/7 technical support or extra levels of secure encryption on servers that host their software. Make sure you clearly understand what “extra” charges entail.
A minimum level of onboarding on training should be included in any pricing model. You may want to pay for a one or two-day implementation training so plan for that in your budget. Given today’s web-based communication tools, that could be done via video conferencing to save a lot of money.
It also pays to do your homework when you are shopping around for a SaaS LMS. For example, you may want to use the cloud-based server to host your digital assets that are downloaded to a locally installed version of your LMS.
Or you may want to store your data, such as sensitive HR records, locally. You can configure your Saas LMS in customised ways which is why My Learning Space can sit down with you and plan how you want to SaaS LMS to work. MLS offers a Moodle and Totara hosting service solutions.