Published: Sep 25, 2020
Time to read: 5mins
Category: Learning

3 Signs It's Time to Switch From a Legacy Learning Platform

Is your organization facing challenges due to a weak or unstable learning technology stack? According to research, you’re not alone—a study from Brandon Hall Group found that 37% of organizations are looking to make the switch to a new LMS. Learning professionals are tasked with training a company’s most valuable assets: its people. Yet, they may find it difficult to be successful in their role without the proper tools. If you’re looking for a sign it’s time to evaluate your learning platforms to support a modern learning culture, keep reading.

While efforts to digitize HR processes were likely being discussed by business leaders pre-COVID, the pandemic has shown us that many organizations were ill-prepared to make such a rapid shift from in-person to completely remote work.

To be as effective as possible, leaders and L&D professionals need to align their processes and technology with the industry’s best practices. This means HR leaders need to prioritize innovating their organization’s learning strategies to make remote learning easier for workers and learning professionals. Part of that innovation should begin with identifying challenges that are caused by outdated systems, specifically the learning management system your organization uses.

Keep reading: The 13 Must-Have Features of a Learning Management System

If you’re unsure of how to navigate the change, here are three signs it’s time to replace your existing LMS:

1. Gathering Data Is a Challenge

Regardless of company size or industry, your LMS must have a powerful reporting system capable of creating and sending various types of reports. This functionality allows L&D professionals to understand where skills gaps are coming from, but reporting is especially critical for the following reasons:

  • Monitoring and reporting on compliance-related training
  • Tracking a learner’s completion rates and/or course history
  • Gaining insights into learner progression

Without a capable system that allows you to gather data and create imperative reports—specifically to ensure compliance—your organization could be at risk of incurring fines due to non-compliance. Or even bad publicity that can lead to a tarnished reputation.

This is a quote: "To be as effective as possible, leaders and L&D professionals need to align their processes and technology with the industry's best practices."

More from the blog: Learning Under Lockdown: How Healthcare Organizations Are Learning in the Now

2. It’s Not Mobile-Friendly

Today’s workforce expects everything to be mobile-friendly—including their learning platform. It makes product adoption easier for younger generations or off-site workers who prefer learning on the go. If your legacy LMS isn’t compatible with different platforms, like smartphones and tablets, learners may not engage with learning initiatives.

To achieve this compatibility, you need a responsive HTML5 interface that auto-adjusts to different screen sizes. However, legacy systems may not have the functionality to allow for such customizations. What’s more, a learning platform vendor might not be willing to invest in the necessary enhancements to make a legacy system mobile-friendly.

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3. You’re Investing Too Much Money

One of the common complaints from legacy LMS users is that the system is inflexible, thus making it more expensive to operate than a modern learning system. Depending on how the system was built and customized for your organization, you may be spending more to maintain it.

  • Additionally, legacy systems often carry hidden costs such as:
  • Annual licensing and maintenance fees
  • Software or hardware updates
  • Integration of third-party tools
  • Ongoing technical support

To avoid the costs and additional pitfalls that are associated with using a legacy LMS, organizations should consider switching to a cloud-based learning management system with predictable monthly costs and the necessary upgrades to make learning and reporting easier.

Related reading: How Much Does an LMS Cost? 2020 Pricing Guide

Planning for Your New Learning Technology Stack

If your company is experiencing issues like the ones highlighted above, it’s time to start planning for a new learning management system. Start the process by defining what you’re looking for in a new system and get stakeholders involved in the process. This ensures your learning technology goals are aligned with the business’ and provides clarity for decision makers.

Be ready to answer questions like:

  • Does this add substantial value to our training process?
  • Does it meet our key technical challenges?

Next, start outlining the main challenges that could be overcome by switching to a modern learning platform. Some of these might involve data migration, training history, adoption willingness by the end-users, and workflow management. At this point, what you need from a new learning platform should be clear and you can begin assembling an implementation team and establishing a timeframe for making the transition.

This is a quote: "If your legacy LMS is not compatible with different platforms, like smartphones and tablets, learners may not engage with learning initiatives."

Also read: Building an LMS Implementation Project Plan: 5 Things You Need to Know

Establish a Core Team

Your core team will be responsible for various implementation tasks and making decisions throughout the process. Depending on the size of your organization, your team might consist of two or three people (for smaller organizations). Or for larger organizations, the team might have five or six people.

When deciding who needs to be involved in the project team, remember that your goals should include acceptance and adoption of the new platform and integration that works for all users. These goals could lead to appointing representatives from areas such as:

  • IT and IT architects
  • eLearning technology specialists
  • Training director or administrator
  • HR and professional development managers
  • Membership committees
  • Events, conferences, and meeting managers
  • Marketing managers

As the transition and implementation process is vital to your organization’s success, a strong leader or project manager is a valuable asset. That’s why it’s important to appoint a team leader who will be responsible for moving the process forward and overcoming obstacles. The team leader can also offer support by interacting with vendors and escalating issues when necessary.

You might also like: 'The Top 6 Benefits of a Modern Learning Management System'

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