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A Brief Comparison between Cloud-Based LMS and Self-Hosted LMS

With an increasing trend of remote training due to pandemic and certain other factors. The LMS industry has been growing and growing. Today, the market is full of hundreds of LMS. All these differ in features, deployment type, and many other factors.

So, finding the right Learning Management System can be a herculean task. An essential part while considering the LMS is its deployment type: Self-hosted LMS  or Cloud-based LMS.

Each way of hosting your LMS has its pros and cons. So, let’s examine the benefits each type brings to the table and decide the best option holistically. Let’s dive in.

Self-Hosting LMS 

It is also called a self-deployed, in-house, or installed LMS. Simply it means that your LMS vendor has offered an eLearning software to you as a product. The installation of this software is offered as an “on-premises” service. So, it means that you are hosting the LMS on your servers.

Advantages of self-hosted LMS-

Before deciding on the self-hosted option, be clear about your priorities. Like, do you want better data security, more personalization, etc. 

Let’s explore these benefits one by one.

Data Security 

It’s important to remember that data security is critical for any LMS platform. The data of users and training you have is priceless, and you can’t afford to compromise on that. So, self-hosting an LMS gives you that extra edge for protecting your data and content.

You have complete control over the things and can enhance data security by employing various measures like encryption or limited access. 

Hence, a clear benefit of a self-hosted LMS is data security.

Storage Capacity of Server

While self-hosting your LMS software, you are flexible in deciding the server’s storage capacity. You can expand or decrease it as per the number of users. 

This feature is missing in other hosting options. With cloud-based LMS, the storage size depends on the subscription plan you have chosen.

Furthermore, self-hosted LMS lets you implement III-tier backup and a disaster recovery policy for the data.

Low Maintenance Costs 

Now, you must be wondering if you need to spend a lot of money for that ‘on-premises’ installation. Well, you may need to meet upfront costs initially, but you will end up saving money in the long run. 

These upfront costs will cover your monthly /annual subscription prices with the cloud-based LMS.

So, spending some money, in the beginning, is justified with these self-hosted LMS as it saves the costs that rise proportionally over time.

Now, let’s discuss Cloud-Based LMS.

Cloud-Based LMS 

A cloud-based LMS or a Saas (Software as a Service) LMS is an “on-demand” service. It means that you get the LMS as a service from the vendor, and they host it on their remote servers. 

Many companies choose these cloud-based LMS due to a variety of reasons. Let us discuss some of them. 

Fits every Budget 

A cloud-based LMS fits every budget that you have. Sometimes, your LMS turns out to be a white elephant, and to prevent such cases, a cloud-based LMS is a boon. 

With these, you can spend wisely based on:

  • Number of users
  • Storage requirements 
  • Need for custom features 

So, you need to pay simply for what you use.

Easy Deployment 

A cloud-based LMS can be set readily within minutes. You can use it right away; all you need to do is add your production URL and the number of users you have. 

Doing this also doesn’t take much time. Hence, you have a faster and quick deployment of your employee training LMS software with this Saas model. 

Ease of maintenance 

With these cloud-based LMS, your vendor usually takes responsibility for all the technical complexities and requirements. This makes software maintenance a cakewalk for you.

On the contrary, other hosting options need regular maintenance from their in-house tech team. Another benefit is that you can upgrade your subscription plans with increasing users.

And the Winner is…

Privacy and safety of the user data is a fundamental right for them. With an exchange of information between the parties, this information can be used for business purposes. This is the reason many companies have started to take stringent measures to protect this information.

So, if your vendor ultimately ensures these norms, you can use a cloud-based LMS. Otherwise, the experts always recommend going with self-hosting LMS, despite the complexities they bring.