True Cost of an LMS

Every business, at least every business that wants to stay in business, manages cost. An organisation assessing the cost of a Learning Management System (LMS) also wants the best value for money.

First, you need to think carefully about the type of LMS that’s right for your organisation – whether you’re using one for educating students or training employees. It needs to be a good fit otherwise you’ll sign up for a system that won’t meet your objectives because it’s underpowered or over-engineered  – either way, you’ll simply waste money. To follow are some areas to consider when making an LMS pricing comparison for your organisation.

The difference between those who use an LMS – whether that’s education, health, retail or corporate – is significant and as a consequence, the pricing models are equally varied. LMS solutions are often sold as software-as-a-service (SaaS), and use a subscription model. This may be for the entire LMS, or only for the features that are used. Other vendors may offer an annual license fee, or a single fee, or no fee at all. Anyone conducting an LMS pricing comparison needs to consider these options.

  • Per learner, per month is the most common solution. It’s a flexible pricing option that scales according to the size of your need. Fees can be as little as $5 plpm, although setup and access fees might apply.
  • Per learner, per use. When an LMS provides more features than a company needs, it’s possible to pay only for the features you use. It’s a good option for organisations that don’t need to train employees regularly.
  • Per course. This is especially attractive when you need to run a very specialised, stand-alone course. It’s an effective option for compliance-focused industries that need to certify learners.
  • Licensing fee allows companies to install LMS software on-premise. Payment terms vary and are a great option for those who regularly make significant use of an LMS across their organisation.
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Additional costs may apply when installing an LMS and it can be easy to overlook them.

  • Implementation. In most cases, the price of setting up an LMS is met by you. How much you spend will depend on whether you choose a cloud-based solution or host the LMS on-premises, and other factors like software customisation and data migration will affect the final cost.
  • Training.  Some vendors may include web-based training for free, but on-site training may be more effective. However, you’ll need to budget for it.
  • Support. The same applies. Basic support (like a knowledge base and email support) is typically included. If you want access to advanced support, you’ll need to budget for that separately. 

What’s the right amount to spend on a learning management system? When making an LMS pricing comparison, think very carefully about your needs and your objectives. Avoid a system that has more features than you require, and is not flexible enough to change when you do. This will help you find a system at the optimum price point.

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