Learning management systems (LMS) have transformed the learning and training landscape completely. Employees these days are more concerned about their professional development than anything else. Businesses are embracing an LMS because they want to keep their employees current on the professional front.
The recent LMS market report suggests that the global LMS market is expected to grow from 9.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2018 to 22.4 billion US dollars by 2023 at a CAGR of 19.6% during the forecast period.
But it is a fallacy to believe that only big businesses benefit from a learning management system. Even small businesses stand to benefit when they start using an LMS.
Could a small business use an LMS?
Small businesses, in general, don’t have a lavish budget. But it does not mean that you can’t afford and offer quality training to your employees. If you are a small business, and you have a good LMS, you can offer top quality training to your employees.
Here is how an LMS can benefit small businesses:
You don’t need to hire HR managers – Due to budget constraints, in small organizations, people need to wear different hats to complete different tasks. Hiring an HR manager to manage and train employees can be a costly proposition for small businesses. But when you opt for an LMS for small business, it can look after all your training needs. You can set up learning paths related to your niche and arrange to give your employees access to a course marketplace.
You can store your data and all your training materials at one place – If you have an LMS in place, you can store all your training data and other company information in one central location. Storing data in several locations and on multiple computers is a cumbersome process, especially when you need to access the information. When you have an LMS, all your training material is stored in one place, which makes it easy to train recruits and update existing courses. It means that your chances of losing data are negligible, more so because all your data is stored on a remote server.
You can offer customized training – Even small businesses need customized training content. You don’t need to create training from scratch. You can instead use existing training from the LMS and customize it to suit your requirements. You can alternatively create a training path that has a string of courses which provide a broad range of skills and capabilities. You can also use online tools that help make the process of course creation much easier.
Helps you meet your compliance requirements – Business both large and small need to keep themselves updated on compliance norms. With a good LMS in place, you get access to a wide range of courses from competent learning partners. You can enroll for these courses with just a click of the mouse. Best of all, you get access to all the current courses, and don’t have to waste your time tracking different training programs from external agencies.
You don’t need to outsource your training needs – Outsourcing might seem a brilliant idea initially, but it means that you are limiting your employees to just a few programs. It means that your employees are not getting trained on skills that they need the most. Outsourcing also means that your employees have to leave their workplaces to attend training sessions and workshops. But if you have an LMS, your employees can access the training program they need the most, and from the comfort of their office or home.
You can conveniently track employee growth and progress – If you have an LMS, you can easily track your employees’ growth and progress because you can access the reports and results after they finish their training programs. All you need to do is log in to the LMS and access each employees’ report, which tells you where you need to focus more.
It is a cost-effective solution – With an LMS in place, you don’t need printed material or to hire an instructor, making it is a cost-effective solution for small businesses.
Securing an LMS for a small business
As the incidents of cybercrimes increase, you need to make sure that you secure your LMS so that all your data remains secure at all times. Since these systems store vast amounts of personal data, it is not just enough to include basic security add-ins, such as simple authentication solutions. You need to implement the latest security solutions.
There are many types of cyber threats, including: authentication break, DoS attacks, attacks that compromise confidential data or intellectual property and attacks that focus on the backend of the product.
The most vulnerable spots in the majority of the learning management systems that cybercriminals can target include the login spot, verification spot, segmentation spot and integrity spot.
You need to put in place several features to achieve basic security goals – such as a reliable authentication for effective authorization.
Some of the other high-level features that you need for your LMS include:
SSL – Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a security technology which is used to establish an encrypted connection between a user’s browser and a web server. With this connection in place, all the data transferred between the browser and the server remains private. LMS encryption can use symmetric and asymmetric key algorithms.
Safe signup – There are several steps to secure access to an LMS. In general, the system requires the following information: individual login or email address, date of birth or any other private information. When the user provides all this information, a secure system account is initiated. It reduces the risk of identity fraud because the process prevents duplication of users.
Safe passwords – You should not use simple passwords. Users are generally advised by the companies to use strong passwords like using a minimum of six characters, using at least one number, etc., in their passwords.
Regular updates – When you constantly update your system with the latest security enhancements and fixes, it ensures that vulnerabilities can be effectively patched as soon as they are discovered.
Some other protective mechanisms for the users include biometric security mechanisms or firewall installation and antimalware software – which can be installed on their device.
Also, small businesses should be careful about their bring your own device (BYOD) policy. BYOD is a trend that is spreading quickly in the corporate world. But small businesses should be cautious when it comes to promoting BYOD because it is difficult to keep so many devices secure.
Essential features for your LMS
The security of your eLearning portal should be your priority. Here are five essential online security features that you should apply to your LMS:
SSL – As mentioned earlier, SSL technology is very important, as it can protect your LMS data. You should, therefore, ask your LMS vendor to use SSL to protect your online training portal. Also, your LMS security features should have the ability of SSL protection.
SSO – Single Sign-On (SSO) is about using the same username and password to gain access to any of several related systems. SSO allows you to centralize authentication management across all your online properties. It means that your IT department can have the same set of security policies and restrictions for your training portal, your corporate intranet and third-party cloud servers.
Users, role, and permission – While users represent user accounts, permissions represent the actions a user should or should not take when logging into the system. Apart from users and permissions, the systems, in general, support a way to bundle related permissions and assign them or revoke them all at once. All web applications have a set of permissions that administrators can assign to users so that they can perform specific actions or change some system entities. Therefore, it is necessary that your LMS security feature has the facility to define users and set their permissions.
Password settings – As mentioned earlier, users should have strong passwords so that it becomes difficult for the hackers to break it. Hence, your LMS security feature should have password settings so that security breaches can be avoided.
Registration and authentication facilities – Your LMS should have the option of when and how users can sign in your system (registration) and when and how your users can log into your system (authentication). When you use a web-based training software, you need to restrict registration to your eLearning portal, and registration options allow you to do it. When a user logs in to the system, you need to have authentication options in place. It allows you to disallow multiple logins from the same user which helps you the most when you are selling commercial courses, and you don’t want to share the account.
The eServe solution
eServe has everything expected of a next-generation LMS. It is a cloud-based solution that helps managers, HR professionals and instructional designers create and redistribute their content over multiple outlets and formats. eServe is also an LCMS designed to complement your existing LMS – which empowers your corporate trainers to share, merge and upgrade your present courses to meet local or regional needs. You don’t have to worry about the security of your data because eServe offers LMS encryption.
Offering affordable solutions, eServe is a comprehensive tool that eliminates the redundancies that can occur when organizations are forced to develop multiple versions of the same content. It allows you to author, unite, deliver, and analyze content conveniently.
Contact us to learn more about how eServe can meet your organization’s needs.