What is a Cloud-Based Learning Management System + 5 Benefits
January 9, 2023
Technology is constantly changing, whether we like it or not. And, with so many options, choosing the right learning management platform for your growing business can be overwhelming.
Don’t worry. Our goal is to help you find the best learning management system (LMS) for your needs. Learn about the benefits of a cloud-based system and why this option may be a great fit for your organization.
What is a cloud-based LMS?
A cloud-based LMS allows employees and customers to access the platform from anywhere with an internet connection. All the data and information are stored in the cloud, which means you can use the LMS from any Wi-Fi-enabled mobile device.
Because of the flexibility and convenience, a cloud-based learning solution is a great option for organizations to consider.
Difference between a cloud-based LMS and a hosted LMS
To help you evaluate which type of LMS is right for your organization, it’s important to understand the differences between a cloud-based and hosted LMS.
With a hosted LMS, hardware or software must be installed on a device
Learners can access training content on a device with pre-installed software or hardware. This means team members must be in the office to complete training.
You can issue laptops and devices with the LMS installed for employees to use in a remote setting, but performing upkeep and maintenance on these systems can be cumbersome.
A cloud-based LMS is offered on demand
A cloud-based LMS is hosted on a server vs. installed on a device. With this option, employees can access learning material from any compatible device.
The biggest difference between a cloud-based and a hosted LMS is how the content is deployed and how users can access the materials. Cloud-based learning management systems also offer several additional advantages for users and organizations.
5 benefits of a cloud-based LMS
Cloud-based LMSs can be anywhere your learners are
A major benefit of taking your learning program into the cloud is the ability for learners to access it wherever they want.
A mobile learning experience is essential for today’s workforce. If learners have an internet connection, they can access the LMS no matter where they are. People are constantly on their mobile devices, so a mobile-friendly training program is a great way to encourage adherence and completion.
In ATD’s 2021 State of the Industry report, employees used multiple devices to access eLearning, including:
- 84% on laptops
- 70% on desktop computers
- 48% on smartphones
- 45% on laptops
Remote workers must securely log in to their LMS from home using their network and devices. A cloud-based LMS gives them that option. The best cloud-based learning management systems use single sign-on (SSO) and advanced encryption techniques to ensure security and prevent unauthorized access.
Upwork estimates that more than 40 million American professionals will be fully remote in the next five years. These remote workers need access to training, which they can gain simply through their browsers, thanks to cloud-based LMS options.
Cloud-based systems help to promote continuous learning for remote and hybrid teams. This helps to keep training consistent and ensures peak performance for all team members, no matter their physical working style.
The same holds true for companies with a global workforce. Offshore and remote employees can log in to the LMS without having to install software on their devices. Many cloud-based platforms can translate training materials into different languages. For example, WorkRamp can be used in English and Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, and Spanish.
Cloud-based LMS solutions are affordable
Because of their customer support, organizations don’t need in-house support, making cloud-based learning management systems cost-effective in the short and long term.
You pay for usage instead of an entire software to start with most cloud-based systems. You can customize your package to avoid paying for features you don’t need.
You save on expenses like IT support, HR resources, and onboarding costs in the long term. The LMS provider takes care of all these time-consuming efforts, giving you back your time and budget.
Additionally, you will save because you don’t need to install upgrades yourself or keep a technical expert in-house. To keep up with user needs and competition, the best cloud-based LMSs will release new features frequently and give you more control, better customization options, better data security, and better support. And you don’t pay extra for updates or new features.
For example, until a few years ago, you needed to purchase a course authoring tool to create courses, an LMS to deliver training, and an analytics tool to measure learner engagement. Now some cloud-based LMS platforms come equipped with all these features and more.
Cloud-based LMSs are easy to set up, use, and update
Because these platforms are built for a wide variety of learners on various devices, the interface is typically user-friendly, with ample resources to get started.
Cloud-based LMSs tend to be easier to implement than on-premise LMSs. This means you can start course creation and program setup right away. You can avoid a long installation process and lengthy set-up meetings with each new user. The LMS is available to the user as soon as they log in, and most cloud-based software readily has product onboarding materials for users.
Additionally, the LMS provider manages the software and the upgrades, so you don’t need technical expertise to ensure learners have an optimal experience and don’t need to devote internal teams or resources to managing the LMS. SaaS products undergo a thorough validation process, including beta testing and multiple changes to the interface based on customer feedback. That means their programmers have done the hard work for you. You know the software works. Cloud-based LMSs improve their speed, availability, and ease of use on an ongoing basis. These updates happen automatically, with no additional work from your team.
With WorkRamp, for example, we roll out major updates quarterly and host launch events to announce new features.
Cloud-based learning systems are scalable
Cloud-based LMS software is designed to grow with you—as you add people and training, the LMS can match that growth.
These systems use a subscription model. When you add new employees, you can add them to your subscription. Additionally, as the demands of your organization increase, there’s no need to purchase new programs or install more software. You can easily add courses and certifications to your existing training program. This is useful for companies with constantly evolving products or organizations that must stay up-to-date with compliance training.
Cloud-based learning platforms can increase productivity
With automated training programs, on-demand courses, and interactive learning formats, cloud-based learning management systems have the potential to boost output for your organization.
A cloud-based solution can streamline your online training programs in several ways. Because users have easy access to learning content exactly when and where they need it, there are no barriers to training completion. Learners won’t be held up waiting for support or a connection to the local server and can learn on their own time.
These solutions also appeal to various learning styles because they support multiple formats like video walkthroughs, webinars, and in-app guidance.
Additionally, some cloud-based learning systems have collaborative features that allow learners to work together, challenge themselves, and get feedback. For example, WorkRamp offers Certifications and Challenges, allowing learners to take quizzes and assessments, then review results with managers or coworkers. They can then share their badges with the company or on social media. The gamification of learning often helps users to be more productive.
Why you should switch to a cloud-based LMS
With a rise in remote work and the popularity of eLearning, cloud-based LMS platforms aren’t something to be ignored.
Consider investing in a cloud-based learning management system if your organization:
- Is experiencing growth
- Adds new features often, and/or has an evolving customer training or employee training program
- Is remote or hybrid
Why choose WorkRamp as your cloud-based LMS
WorkRamp is an All-in-One Learning Platform that empowers your teams to learn on demand.
With WorkRamp, you can:
- Create an engaging onboarding experience to help new hires get up to speed and be productive faster
- Reduce corporate risk by deploying compliance and other regulatory training and ensuring on-time completion
- Promote internal mobility and upskilling through both prescribed and discoverable, self-serve learning content that further develops employees’ careers
- Build leadership development programs to equip first-time managers, middle management, and executives with the necessary training, skills, and resources to succeed
If you’re interested in learning more about how a cloud-based LMS can benefit your training program, contact us to schedule a free demo.
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Maile Timon is WorkRamp’s Content Strategist. She has more than 11 years of experience in content marketing and SEO and has written for several publications and industries, including B2B, marketing, lifestyle, health, and more. When she’s not writing or developing content strategies, she enjoys hiking and spending time with her family.
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