Rolled Up American Money

Evaluating Learning Management System Costs

Has your organization dreamed of purchasing a Learning Management System (LMS) only to find out that large learning companies make it cost prohibitive? Maybe you already have a solution that you are not happy with? It turns out that you are not alone, data complied by Brandon Hall Group highlights that 44% of organizations are unhappy with their LMS, while 48% say they are evaluating other options. As a social service agency with limited funds, it is important that you invest wisely. Here are some considerations to make when evaluating the cost of an LMS.

Free versus Paid

There are a variety of LMS solutions. A quick visit to Capterra outlines the hundreds of providers that exist. Most providers will charge based upon the number of users enrolled. That number is rather subjective with some services counting all learners and others only counting “active” users. There are several LMS software packages that can be utilized free of charge. Naturally, people are easily drawn to the allure of free software. It can be easy to choose the option with the fewest upfront fees without realizing the total cost of implementation. Probably the most notable name in free LMS software is Moodle. Although the software itself is free, a great deal of programming goes into customizing the platform. In fact, many organizations have full-time dedicated developers in order to make the system work as they want it. Suddenly, free software becomes much more expensive than a paid alternative.

Standard Four operates on a fixed-pricing model with no limits on the number of users you enroll or courses you provide.

Self-Hosted versus Cloud

Another major factor in determining the cost of an LMS is whether your organization will host the software or if you will rely on a cloud-based provider. More and more, organizations are turning to cloud-based services because of their increased accessibility and convenience. Should you choose a self-hosted option, the responsibility is with your agency to maintain servers and customize the software. This can lead to quickly ballooning IT costs and lots of frustration. Cloud based providers host your content offsite and have ongoing support and consultation built into their pricing structure.

Standard Four operates a cloud based solution which can save you thousands of dollars compared to competitors.

Local versus National

Learning is central to your success. It is important that you develop a solid working relationship with whatever organization you partner with. While they provide the advantage of scale, working with a large national learning company generally means you do not have consistent face-to-face access to the people you are working with. Standard Four is based in Saint Paul, Minnesota and is just a text message or email away. It is also important that your learning partner understand what you are trying to achieve so that your time is not wasted. Standard Four’s exclusive focus on social work and social service agencies means that we understand the unique needs of the helping professions.

A local face means your requests are implemented correctly and on-time, ensuring the best value for your investment.

Now that you know how to evaluate costs when looking for an LMS partner, take the next step! Learn more about our learning management and digitization services. If you have specific questions, do not hesitate to contact us today to discuss how we can fulfill your training needs.