The cloud-powered LMS (otherwise known as a SaaS or on-demand service) has several differences from an installed LMS (otherwise known as an in-house or on-premise LMS).  The rise of both types of learning management systems is a reflection of the rise in popularity of moving training to an online platform (Anderson, 2017). 

    Online trainings save organizations time and resources. If you are looking for a new learning management system and are not sure whether to go with an installed LMS or a cloud-powered LMS, we hope this comparative article can help you make your decision.

    Below you will find pros and cons of both types of software as well as examples of some learning management systems that are either cloud-powered or in-house systems.

    Cloud-Powered LMS vs. Installed LMS 

    1. Cloud-Powered LMS

    Pros of Cloud-powered LMS:

    1. There are lower maintenance costs and upfront fees. Sign up for a subscription plan with a cloud-powered LMS service provider and have their staff maintain and update your LMS (Anderson, 2017). No need to hire an IT staff to maintain the software.
    2. A cloud-powered LMS is more easily scalable (Dell, n.d.). If demand increases, subscribers can simply upgrade their plan without having to reacclimate hardware to meet new demands.
    3. A cloud-powered LMS offers more storage space. No longer must you rely on your computer and devices for storage (Anderson, 2017). 


    Cons of Cloud-powered LMS:

    1. Customization options are more limited with a standard plan with a cloud-powered LMS service provider. If you would like custom options, you must subscribe to an Enterprise plan which tend to be more expensive than the standard plan options.
    2. It is hard to find a cloud-powered LMS that can fully integrate with all of your other online systems. 

    Examples of Cloud-powered LMS:

    Some examples of cloud-powered learning management systems include the high-quality cloud based Healthcare LMS by CertCentral, Docebo, and Litmos LMS. 

    2. Installed LMS 

    Pros of Installed LMS:

    1. You can apply your own extra security measures to your online courses and exams with an installed LMS where your tech team has full control of secure content. 
    2. Despite a cloud-powered LMS having lower up front costs, typically over the course of a few years, the installed LMS becomes the ultimate less expensive option. With a cloud-powered LMS there is a monthly subscription fee which you pay forever: a fee which increases as your training needs increase. 

    Cons of Installed LMS:

    1. You need to hire a full IT staff in order to maintain the installed LMS. 
    2. No internet connection is necessary in order to access an on-premise LMS (Ingwersen, 2017). If internet connection is not always reliable at your organization, this might be the better option for you!

    Examples of Installed LMS:

    ShareKnowledge and Lanteria LMS are two of many examples of learning management systems with installed LMS options. 

    Richard is an experienced tech journalist and blogger who is passionate about new and emerging technologies. He provides insightful and engaging content for Connection Cafe and is committed to staying up-to-date on the latest trends and developments.