The importance of learning and development has never been more apparent. Between skill gaps and one of the most competitive hiring environments in history, you cannot count on being able just to hire a new employee for openings in your business. It’s now necessary to promote from within, but when your employees lack key skills, it becomes important that you can help them learn, grow, and develop. Of course, doing that requires the right tools.
Learning management systems, or LMSs, offer the ability to manage L&D efforts. However, they’re not all created equal. Some are primarily focused on delivering content to learners and give only the barest nod to other necessary factors, like tracking employee progress or measuring information retention. These are essential factors, but they can be incredibly time-consuming. Automation can help.
What Does Automation Do?
Automation is something of a buzzword today, which makes it difficult to determine its value to your organization. To do so, we need to drill down past all the marketing trappings now surrounding the term to get at its real meaning.
Automation – it’s the ability to take a laborious process and not just streamline it, but to take the labor out of it. It’s about automating mundane tasks that take human employees significant amounts of time and effort, but that software can complete very quickly and very accurately. This frees up your leaders, managers, and L&D experts to focus on areas where their time would be better spent, such as creating branded learning content.
Managing your LMS requires a significant amount of time and effort. If you’re still using an older-style, on-premise system, you likely have even more management requirements. Those might include system maintenance, upgrades, patches, and even security concerns. Each of those responsibilities takes away from your team’s ability to handle L&D-related concerns and build a strong workforce.
New learning management system software can make a major difference in your processes, and in the ability of your team to handle L&D requirements. Below, we’ll explore some of the benefits and features offered by this new breed of software. We’ll also highlight the role of automation in some of those capabilities.
The Need for Learning Management System Software
When companies need to organize, distribute, manage, track, and evaluate training and learning programs, they are increasingly turning to the latest digital technologies to automate as much of the process as possible. That’s what the right learning management system software can do for you. If you haven’t yet taken the plunge, now is the time to make it happen. If you do make use of LMS software, are you happy with it? If not, then it’s time to switch to software that will work better for your company.
If you want to be on the leading edge and you’re not a global mega-corporation with the resources to develop its own on-site system, the good news is that there are hundreds of learning management system software choices available to you. Many of them are cloud-based, web-hosted software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings. This is a major improvement that leverages the power of the Internet to eliminate much of hassle associated with on-premise solutions.
This new wave of cloud-based systems offers the following distinct advantages:
- No need to install any software on your company’s computer network, which represents huge savings in IT time, and allows for lower startup costs. For instance, you can make do with less IT hardware, which slashes your technical costs immediately.
- The vendor automatically maintains and updates the software. That saves your team valuable time but also means that you don’t need to have as much in-house IT talent in the first place, which is good news for startups and SMBs.
- You can access the LMS from anywhere that you have an Internet connection and a web browser. This applies not only to LMS administrators but also your learners, which means much more flexibility in accessing learning and training content when and where suits them best. When you’re able to offer mobile learning, you empower learners to achieve more and perform better.
- Often, you can also access these systems through a variety of devices, including desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Imagine being able to complete learning from the bus during a daily commute, or from a hotel room while traveling for business.
- Many of these systems offer rapid implementation, which means you can often be up and running in a surprisingly short amount of time. In some cases, implementing the system may take mere days, rather than weeks or months.
- Most of the vendors in this market offer clear, monthly subscription pricing which means you know what your costs are going to be and don’t have to worry about getting hit with hidden upgrade fees and other charges.
- You don’t have to worry about securely storing all your LMS content and data on-site. It’s all maintained in secure cloud storage.
- When you use an installed system, it typically comes as a package, which means you might be paying for features you don’t use or even need. Many cloud-based systems offer various aspects of their LMS a la carte, meaning you get to put together the configuration that makes the most sense for your company.
- The best cloud-based LMS vendors understand the critical importance of providing customer and technical support and will offer such support 24/7.
- Many cloud-based systems have also been designed to be very scalable, which means the system can handle a growing company and you don’t have to worry about outgrowing your LMS and finding a new one.
As you can see, the brave new digital world in which businesses find themselves does have some great benefits, not the least of which are many cloud-based learning management system software choices to make your training and learning programs that much easier to administer.
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