Looking for the best LMS solution? Here are four key areas to consider when evaluating LMS solutions.

4 key considerations when evaluating LMS solutions

Finding the right LMS solution for your organization can be daunting. With hundreds of LMS solutions to choose from, the process of evaluating vendors can require a significant amount of time and resources.

And that doesn’t include the continued investment of time and energy once you purchase one. When you purchase an LMS solution, it’s likely that you’ll end up using it for a year or more. And you’ll need to dedicate continuous time and energy to monitoring and improving your materials throughout the duration of your program.

When it comes to LMSs, you’ll want to pick the right one before you purchase it. But how can you be sure?

While every organization has unique needs, there are key areas of an LMS that you should always assess before purchasing. Evaluating these areas can save you hundreds of hours in research and ensure you’re getting an LMS that’s worth the time and money.

LMS technology

When evaluating LMS solutions, technology is paramount. Technology refers to the infrastructure, software, and systems that comprise an LMS solution. In other words, it's the “physical” hardware and technological features that make up an LMS.

LMS technology should be modern, secure, and highly adaptable to your needs as an organization. Technology that is outdated creates poor admin and user experiences, making daily tasks difficult, decreasing completion rates, and even leaving your system vulnerable to data breaches.

LMS technology is often a difficult area for non-IT professionals to analyze and because of this, generally gets overlooked during the evaluation process. While bringing in an IT professional to assess the technology of an LMS solution is smart, it’s not always necessary.

To evaluate the technology of an LMS solution, consider its:

  • Integrations
  • Scalability
  • Configurations
  • Security and reliability

Integrations refer to an LMS’s connections to other systems, platforms, or tools. Integrations are extremely important because they allow the LMS solution to talk with other systems in your tech stack and can streamline your workflow while reducing organizational costs.

For example, an LMS that allows integrations with other systems such as Salesforce, Workday, or BambooHR, centralizes your program, making it more efficient. And one that includes tools like videoconferencing and virtual events reduces your need for third-party platforms – and its associated costs.

Scalability, on the other hand, signals an LMS that can handle fluctuations in traffic. Most organizations will change over time. Employees may leave and new ones may join. And some organizations may experience extreme periods of growth. Scalability, or the ability to add new learners seamlessly, will allow your organization to adapt effortlessly to changes.

Configurations are powerful because they allow you to adapt or personalize the platform to your specific needs or requirements. You can configure things such as user roles, course settings, branding, communication options, and others. LMS configurations optimize the learning experience and help admins efficiently manage their content.

Lastly, when it comes to evaluating LMS technology consider the security and reliability of a system. Reliability is important because it ensures that the platform will consistently perform and provide uninterrupted access to learning resources with minimal downtime. Reliability will be outlined in your service level agreement, or SLA.

And equally important is security. A secure LMS is a must. Security ensures the protection of sensitive data and compliance with data privacy regulations. A secure LMS will have at least a SOC 2 Type 1 certification, but one with the highest levels of security will have a SOC 2 Type 2 certification.

LMS products

Once you’ve determined technological soundness, it’s time to evaluate an LMS’s products. Most learning management systems will, at a bare minimum, operate as a shell platform to house courses. But it’s important to assess whether an LMS can go beyond that.

Consider whether the platform offers both course creation capabilities and tools to enhance learning materials, making them more engaging. With some platforms, you may need a third-party service to create courses and add interactive elements, so having an LMS that offers these capabilities is worthwhile.

And even better is an LMS with pre-built courses. Pre-built courses can save you a ton of time and energy. Look to see if an LMS offers a course catalog or pre-built courses in its product offerings.

With pre-built courses, you can essentially plug and play and get your learning program up and running in as little as a few minutes, making them worth the cost. And some courses may even be free.

When it comes to LMS products, it’s also helpful to evaluate your organizational goals and needs. Do your learners struggle with fitting training into their schedule? On-demand learning and mobile learning can help. So you may want to look for an LMS that offers things like a mobile application and content repository where you can provide ongoing access to resources.

Are you training multiple audiences with your platform? Maybe you’re training internal employees, partner channels, and even clients. An LMS that offers white-label branding can help you extend your branding and tailor it to specific audiences.

Lastly, look for an LMS that offers data capabilities in its product offerings. Data tracking and reporting are crucial to a learning program. Without it, you’re essentially guessing with your program and may not know its strengths and weaknesses.

Data helps you make informed decisions that allow for better resource allocation. It also helps you increase the ROI of your training program, which translates to overall business ROI.

LMS services

As you evaluate LMSs, remember that the true value of a solution extends beyond just the software. And the additional services that an LMS offers can play a pivotal role in your success. Similar to products, LMS services can give you a leg up when it comes to your learning program, so it’s critical to evaluate a vendor based on the services they provide.

For instance, when you’re needing to ramp up your training program quickly, services like content creation and design can be extremely valuable. With these services, it’s almost like you’ve multiplied your team – all without the cost of hiring additional internal employees.

You can often use content services on an ad hoc basis, which is especially beneficial for large one-off projects or urgent ones. This is also a great option for converting paper documents into engaging courses, which can come in handy when dealing with hundreds or thousands of documents.

Other services an LMS may provide include things like professional design, program troubleshooting, and system configuration.

Professional design can be valuable for not only lending a helping hand in an area that may not be your forte. But it can also help you create a seamless brand experience where it matters most.

For example, if you support customers or partners, a professional brand experience will pay dividends. And with access to professional design services, you can create that experience at a fraction of the cost of hiring a third-party service.

Program troubleshooting can also pay dividends. A professional trained to identify weaknesses and strengths can help you optimize your program, helping you with better resource allocation and increasing your ROI.

Similarly, program configuration can help you tailor a solution exactly to your needs and alleviate a significant amount of admin burden. With configuration, administrators can determine what actions each type of user can perform within the LMS, how courses are structured, enrollment policies, how notifications are sent, and much more.

Together, these actions can streamline your learning program and save you thousands of hours of labor per year.

LMS support

When evaluating LMSs, last but absolutely not least, you’ll want to consider the support that comes with the solution. LMS support is another area that often gets overlooked during the evaluation period. But once you start using the solution, it quickly becomes one of the most important aspects of an LMS.

To start, evaluate the onboarding process of an LMS. All learning management systems have a learning curve of some sort when you first begin using them. And a robust onboarding program that effectively trains you to use the product will help to stem a lot of the challenges that come with learning a new program.

Consider if the onboarding program is smooth and well-structured. Does the provider offer enough training and resources to ensure you can harness the LMS's full potential? Do they make these resources easily accessible? And do they designate someone you can call on if you have questions?

Next, explore customer support. A responsive and knowledgeable support team can be a lifeline when encountering hurdles after you finish onboarding. The last thing you want after purchasing a system is to be left figuring things out on your own.

Resources like help centers can be invaluable for self-guided troubleshooting. But even better are live support options that can help aid you with any obstacles and unique challenges that may come up as you use the solution.

Having support options as well as assessing the robustness of these options will save you a lot of frustration and headache down the road. And it can make all the difference in what you’re able to get out of your LMS and your experience with it.

Look for LMS solution providers that have robust offerings in all four areas

When evaluating LMS solution providers, look for one that covers each of these areas: technology, products, services, and support. While it may seem like a wishlist, an LMS that is worth the time and money will have robust offerings in all of these areas.

By evaluating an LMS in these key areas, you can ensure you’re getting an LMS that will provide you with modern technology that is both equipped to handle your needs and strong enough to withstand security threats.

You also get access to a suite of products that can save you even more time and money in the long run. Things like on-demand learning, video conferencing tools, pre-built courses, and gamified elements have innumerable benefits. They can enhance the learning experience to boost completion rates, reduce your need for third-party platforms, and save you large amounts of time.

And finally, an LMS with strong services and support offerings can help you expand your team and guide you when you need it most. Services ensure that you’re getting professional-level quality without exorbitant costs. And support gives you peace of mind that you have the resources and tools to overcome obstacles.

By evaluating an LMS based on these four criteria, you can ensure that you’re getting a well-rounded platform that makes for an enjoyable learner and admin experience.

Tovuti is one of the best LMS solutions for making e-learning streamlined and data-driven

Tovuti is a best-rated LMS solution provider that reduces the need for third-party platforms – and your tech stack – by consolidating features into one easy-to-use platform. By leveraging Tovuti LMS, you alleviate administrative burden and make learning fun and easy for users.

With Tovuti, administrators can easily create engaging courses, automate their training program, track their efforts to make effective business decisions, provide tailored learning experiences, and more.

And with the most robust gamified and interactive features on the market, including over 40 plug-and-play gamified features, leaderboards, and virtual classrooms, learners are sure to retain more information and have fun doing it!

Get an all-in-one, best-rated LMS solution


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