Updated: Apr 25, 2021
In many ways, the success of a corporate training program depends upon the resources that you make available to your users. Given this, understanding the difference in deploying your learning management system (LMS) in a SaaS-based model vs choosing to deploy the platform on-premises is an important as you embark on your new corporate eLearning program. And while either of these two approaches can offer your company valuable functionality, your choice should be driven by the specific needs and requirements of your company.
Deploying an On-Premises LMS
On-premises deployment refers to software that is installed or “hosted” directly on your company’s servers. To accomplish this, your company must buy or rent a copy of the software and assume all of the responsibilities for the operation of the software within your own data center.
While on-premises deployment of any type of software typically offers a greater deal of flexibility, it also means that your company must have the financial resources to make, what can be, a significant up-front investment in the purchase of the software, hardware, and other supporting infrastructure. It also means that your employees must manage the day-to-day operations and ensure the security and availability of the software. Because of this, on-premises deployment of any type of software solution can be very challenging for small businesses or any company that is resource-constrained.
Working with a SaaS-Based LMS
In contrast, a SaaS-based LMS deployment leverages a platform made available from a third-party SaaS LMS vendor. These are companies that have built out an LMS infrastructure to make available to their clients, typically on a subscription basis. A SaaS model eliminates the need for an up-front capital investment and shifts the responsibility for the ongoing management and maintenance of the system from your company to the cloud vendor.
Other benefits of working in a SaaS-based model include:
Working in SaaS-based model also means that your can go into production with your corporate eLearning program more quickly as it eliminates the need for your company to acquire resources and “stand up” the LMS platform yourself.
While an on-premises deployment requires your team to manage the scaling of the system yourselves by deploying additional resources as your corporate training program grows, most SaaS-based LMS platforms allow you to simply upgrade your plan to access additional features and bandwidth as you need it.
A cloud-based LMS vendor can typically achieve a higher level of security than most companies can in an on-premises deployment. This is because the cloud vendor is able to make sizable investments in the security aspect of the deployment and then spread those costs over their entire customer base, making the system both secure and affordable.
Convenience and Flexibility for Users
Deploying a SaaS-based LMS ensures that your employees can access the training materials they need, when and where they need them. All that is required is an Internet connection.
Unfortunately, on-premises deployments age over time. As new LMS features become available and architectural enhancements are introduced, the burden is on your company to keep pace with the software and hardware upgrades to keep pace with these changes. In contrast, a cloud-based LMS deployment places this responsibility on the vendor. If they are not offering the “latest and greatest” in LMS technology, they risk losing their clients to competitors.
LMS Portals: A SaaS-Based LMS for Corporate Training
LMS Portals provides our clients and partners with a SaaS-based, multi-tenant learning management system that allows you to launch and manage private eLearning environments (portals) on-demand to support multiple learning audiences. Each portal you launch can have its own branding and includes powerful tools for user onboarding, messaging and collaboration, analytics, and more.