Choosing to invest in a new LMS for your enterprise or to replace your existing one is a complex decision. And large enterprises have a host of unique requirements to consider. So how do you know what to look for?
Choosing a corporate LMS: 6 factors large enterprises consider
No matter how established your L&D team is, choosing a vendor needs a lot of careful consideration. For a large enterprise, complexities like integrating with other systems or high user volume make the selection more difficult.
Don’t focus on minimizing costs up front. Instead, analyze your company’s requirements carefully. Once you are clear on your expectations, you can work on finding an LMS to deliver them. But what should large enterprises, specifically, take into consideration when choosing an LMS?
1. The complexity of the operating environment
Large enterprises, more than ever, need to be adaptable to constant change and unpredictability. Your corporate LMS needs to provide flexibility in terms of technology trends, usability and hosting arrangements.
For large organizations, choosing an LMS that integrates smoothly with a wide range of systems is even more important. There are likely to be CRM, project management, and accounting systems that all require LMS integration. This is essential for smooth access and reporting.
2. The number of the organization’s various groups
Large organizations are far more likely to be running teams across cultures, countries, and languages. When choosing an LMS, they will most likely opt for one that supports a virtual environment, with integrated collaboration tools.
In the same way, social learning is essential when people don’t spend time in the same physical space. A corporate LMS with an integrated social platform will enable better communication and engagement across the organization.
Multilingual support is another feature to consider – especially if you’re running a global company or plan to expand into international markets in the near future.
3. Complex reporting needs
Because of the number of stakeholders in larger enterprises, the demand for accurate and reliable reporting is larger. L&D teams, for example, will need to design a number of automated reporting functions.
While choosing an LMS, ensure it supports scheduled and reliable reporting across systems. Big data will be essential to a large organization, and delivery of KPI reporting is a fundamental expectation of the LMS support team. The LMS should also make it easy to analyze data in order to review and combine KPIs to support the L&D strategy.
4. Corporate learner data
Large organizations will see a constant change in their user base. Whether it’s a stream of new hires or temporary employees, changes or leavers, access requests must be handled efficiently. Self-registration may also become important to the company.
Aside from access requirements, there will be content maintenance, technical support, software upgrades and hosting. For a large enterprise, this may mean an outsourcing partner is necessary.
5. The constant pressure on developers for new material
Personalization is key. But for large organizations with a number of job role categories, this becomes a difficult beast to train. There must be a wide volume of online training content and a well-stocked training library.
Developers are constantly required to be producing new and better material. There will also be a wealth of existing training resources that need to be transferred. These may be stored in multiple locations and in different formats. It will prove very helpful to decide in favor of a corporate LMS that supports this process, and your partner should be clear on the effort involved.
You might branch into other markets or simply hire seasonal employees to keep up with the holiday rush. In either case, your Learning Management System must be able to scale.
It should offer flexible pricing plans that allow you to add extra users, as well as upgraded functional features that continually improve ROI.
When choosing an LMS, larger enterprises must think on a grander scale. Instead of expanding your workforce by 5 or 10 employees next quarter, it’s probably more along the lines of 50-100 (or even more). Which is why your LMS must provide reliable access to every employee in your enterprise and not falter under the strain. Likewise, you should be able to cut back on your plan if you need to downsize due to budget cuts.
Trusting an LMS vendor to deliver all the different requirements of a large organization is difficult. Everything takes longer in a large organization and mistakes are much harder to unravel. But you can set yourself up for success. Choose a vendor who understands your environment and can handle the twists and turns along the way, and success is sure to follow.
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