Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is one of the common terms in the IT world, but what exactly does it mean? What are the advantages for companies?
Optimizing learning processes has always played an existential role within companies. For equally long, however, a limited budget, tight schedules, and managers who are not easily convinced of new suggestions have put a challenge to that development. Costly in-house developments within eLearning have been out of the question for many companies. A radical change comes with the introduction of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).
With Software-as-a-Service solutions companies realize online training for employees, partners, and customers without extensive outlay and with a low investment risk – and without needing to change existing systems.
SaaS learning platforms: 5 advantages – plus 1
Software-as-a-Service learning platforms are cloud-based. They are therefore supplied on the external servers of a service provider. This results in 5 decisive advantages for companies – plus 1.
- Ready for direct take-off with low investments
With SaaS solutions, companies face a low investment risk. SaaS applications can be integrated into existing IT structures without the extensive outlay. The procurement of new servers or software and costly in-house developments are unnecessary. SaaS learning platforms are ready for use right away. All that is required is a browser – on your PC, a laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
- Minimal administrative work
The administrative work arising from the development and introduction of an internal Learning Management System is reduced to the absolute minimum: This includes development, installation, and ongoing operating costs. In this way, valuable resources are saved and made available to the core business of the company and the development of high-quality content.
- The service provider is responsible for the technology
SaaS suppliers take care of the maintenance of basic hardware and software systems and ensure the reliable availability of the service. They are responsible for ensuring that the entire technology is up-to-date through regular updates.
- Reliability and user-friendliness are guaranteed
Companies can be confident of SaaS functionality: Numerous other organizations already use the available solution. SaaS suppliers, therefore, place great value on the reliability of the technology and the user-friendliness of the software.
- The learning platform simply grows with your requirements
SaaS is also scalable within the company and can be aligned with the latest training requirements at any time – without a need to invest in new hardware and with no concerns regarding capacity.
Plus 1: Integration with internal company systems
With the aid of APIs, it is possible to connect SaaS platforms to internal ERP systems. This eases the exchange of data, such as the allocation of names and email addresses, between the company and the online training platform.
Internal LMS vs. outsourced SaaS
If an internal Learning Management System (LMS) already exists within the company then it is often aligned towards longer-term personnel development. In contrast, a SaaS platform facilitates competency-based online training. A SaaS solution may be a stand-alone solution, or it may serve as an expedient and economical supplement to an existing LMS.
With SaaS training, learning content is available in small, individually accessible “learning bites”. The buzzword here is Microlearning. With this approach, learners are able to access content quickly and according to their actual requirements, as their position and situation presently demand it – i.e. on a competence and needs basis.
Blended Learning: Combining Microlearning with attended events
Microlearning helps sustain content learned in training sessions. For example, questions that arise following local product training sessions can be intercepted through Microlearning: Because it is with the everyday use of new products that the majority of questions arise. In such cases, it is possible to access the corresponding Microlearning chapter “in a flash” and clarify questions directly without extensive effort. This combination of on-site training and Microlearning really does make courses more effective and particularly valuable for companies.
Maximize data protection: consider the servers’ location
If a company opts to use a cloud-based online training solution, it should consider the hosting country. The country in which the service provider’s servers are located makes a big difference in data protection against access by third parties. Many companies use servers in the USA. Based on the Patriot Act, data can be accessed at any time, without a judicial order. This is undesirable, not least when it comes to sensitive content. When selecting a provider it is therefore important to question where the servers are located – the data center would ideally be based in the EU and the provider accordingly subject to the strict European data protection laws.
Did you find this helpful? Do you have any questions?
Contact us by phone +49 (0)221 828 293 64 or directly via email with the button.