7 Focus Points For eLearning Professionals In 2020

The new decade is just around the corner, and the countdown for new eLearning trends coming into the picture has already started.

  • A report from Research and Markets suggests that the global eLearning industry is expected to grow from $176.12 billion in 2017 to reach $398.15 billion by 2026 with a CAGR of 9.5%.
  • In 2017, approximately 77% of American companies used online learning [1].
  • According to a survey conducted by Towards Maturity in the year 2011, 72% of the 600 companies that were surveyed said that learning technology such as mobile learning, eLearning, etc. helped their business adapt more quickly to the change—an increase of 11% in last year [2].
  • In 2016, the self-paced eLearning product market amounted to 46.67 billion U.S. dollars and is projected to decrease to 33.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2021.
  • A report from Edgepoint Learning shows that 39% of millennials want to see more virtual education in the workforce by 2025 [3].

It’s evident from this growing number that one needs to know the industry trends to stay ahead of the competitors and enhance their existing offerings. So let’s have a look at these major game-changing drifts:

1. LXPs Will Play A Crucial Role

The next-level Learning Management Systems (i.e, Learning Experience Platforms) have already created a hype in terms of offering a customized, social, online learning experience for users. These AI-powered learning mediums are expected to be adopted in an extensive manner especially by large enterprises. World-renowned industry analyst Josh Bersin researched more than 20 different vendors and concluded that the LXP market has passed the $350 million mark.

2. Learner Analysis And Reporting Will Be A Popular Functionality

Student behavior is an important facet when it comes to eLearning. It’s important for companies to find out which courses are popular, what is the completion rate, who are proactive learners, where the learners are facing troubles, etc. Learner analytics finds out the answers to these questions and improves training. LMS platforms embedded with Experience API (xAPI), which registers learner activity and stores the data, will be on high demand from the start of next year.

3. User-Generated Content Will Be Prevalent

As per a report from Towards Maturity, the year 2017 witnessed a 38% rise in User-Generated Content [4]. With this huge leap, it’s evident that companies are inclining toward a more democratic approach to learning and knowledge sharing. In addition to this, the same report states that usage of bespoke content from external suppliers has decreased from 64% in 2014 to 52% in 2017 [4]. This fact clearly indicates that businesses will prefer User-Generated Content to be shared in eLearning solutions rather than sourcing them from elsewhere.

4. Video Content Will Thrive

Videos have become the most popular element on the internet today. Data from Insivia suggests that the video content uploaded in an average month is higher than the number of videos created by all 3 major US TV networks combined in 30 years [6]. Hence, we’re predicting that this integrative and engaging content format will be a fundamental part of workplace learning in 2020. Be it live streaming, video assignments, expert tips or practice demos, videos will be able to create an immersive simulating learning experience.

5. AR, VR, And MR Will Be Adopted

Visual learning has become common today. Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and mixed reality are slowly paving their way into eLearning platforms. Several Fortune 500 companies, such as Boeing, UPS, and Walmart, have already introduced VR into worker education programs on a massive scale [7]. Although embedding these modes of technology is quite expensive, they produce enhanced learning experience and performance support.

6. Work-Life Skills Will Be The Highlight

Companies like Towards Maturity, Deloitte, and LinkedIn Learning are focusing on concepts such as problem-solving, communication skills, collaboration, and leadership management for digital learning. These are commonly referred to as work-life skills that empower people to succeed across different roles and adapt to changes. These work-life skills will continue to be a highlight for the coming year in the eLearning world, especially by companies who wish to retain staff and ensure future success.

7. Effective Mobile Learning Will Be Encouraged

Data shows that 600 million people worldwide subscribe to mobile learning applications. The market for mobile learning products and services is projected to grow by $70 billion by the year 2020. These figures clearly showcase why the eLearning industry prefers mobile learning which assures on-demand and enormous potential. Moreover, it’s very easy to create a piece of content that functions across all smart devices automatically.

To sum these trends up, in the coming year, eLearning is expected to become sophisticated and effective. Be it workforce training or online learning for students, traditional means of classroom teaching will slowly fade away. It’s important to become proactive and learn about these changes in order to be well-positioned in this cut-throat competitive market. However, it will be interesting to witness these new industry developments at the dawn of 2020.

Digital learning has become a powerful tool for institutions and organizations to deliver learning in the modern tech infused environment. This form of learning provides efficient learning at reduced cost with other advantages like, remote access, personalized learning, interactivity and scalability. Digital learning is best leveraged with the use of learning management system or lms, a software to deploy, manage and track online learning. Organizations that impart any form of learning or training can reap long term gains by investing in an lms that best suits their requirement. The difficult question is which one is the best lms.

The answer can’t be one or two or even top five, because learning requirements are unique for organizations and each lms has different but not all the features, and the best lms for you might not be the right pick for someone else. Simply put: one size doesn’t fit all. Currently there are about a thousand different learning management systems available from providers across the world. The search for the right lms needs a good amount of research but it doesn’t have to be an exasperating project. The search can be narrowed down with a step-by-step analysis.


‘Do I really need an lms? or do I need to upgrade from the existing one?’ is the question we ask foremost, the answer requires a little introspection. Organizations can leverage lms if they want to

  • offer online learning
  • want to track the current learning outcomes and drawbacks
  • want all the learning resources in one place
  • streamline the administration
  • and reduce learning and training costs

The next question is to know what will be the goal with the new lms and what the target audience is.

Online learning goals are defined by what you do and why you need an lms. You could be an academic institution trying to supplement the formal learning with virtual classrooms and reach out to a larger student base; a mid level business who needs a platform to train employees, educate vendors/ clients on products and services; or an mnc who wants to adopt a global streamlined learning and content management for various stakeholders. Your goals should be specific and measurable.

Features Checklist

  • Most of the learning management systems available today offer all of the basic features and many of the features are similar in functionality but carry different and lavish names. Creating a checklist of features which are necessary to achieve the learning goals is the fundamental part.
  • An intuitive and easy to use user interface with responsive web design is a mandate for a modern lms, If your lms doesn’t provide a convenient user experience, no matter how robust it is, it will be a cause of annoyance for end users and admins.
  • Mobility is another mandate for any online learning program as over half of the learning is consumed on mobile devices. Your new lms should provide a device agnostic and responsive content support, and should be complemented by mobile apps.
  • Young learners are active on social platforms, plugins for social media sharing and social forums for discussion is a valuable add on. Learners want to share ideas and get feedback from peers, collaborative learning is also known to alleviate the drab of exhaustive learning.
  • Assessments are an integral part of any learning programme, they help in measuring learners’ comprehension and implement relevant strategies to enhance it. An lms should have tools to take assessments in various ways, depending on your needs. It could be written tests, multiple objective questions, online simulations or scenarios.
  • Feedbacks are an important way to get opinions and views on the approval of courses, teaching methodology and the platform.
  • An advanced lms also has certification tool, wherein upon successful completion of courses certificates are generated within the system.
  • One important lms features for learning providers is the kind of administration it provides, administration control can be managed by one admin (for smaller organizations) or by various stakeholders in case of large institutions. The layers of access control should provide degrees of access, eg, general view, reports access, courseware management etc.
  • Customizable and scalable lms may come at a higher cost but the investment is worthwhile for organizations with growing members and who want to add or remove features to their lms as they start to see value in the product.
  • An lms for advanced learning can inculcate varying degree of interactivity, training on design courses need a lot of interactive elements while delivering history lectures may not.
  • ‘Differentiated Instruction’ is an education philosophy for effective teaching, commonly known as personalized learning, it allows learners within a group to have unique learning path carved out depending on their current awareness on the subject. Artificial intelligence enabled personalized learning is a feature in advanced learning platforms.

Explore the Market

The number and type of features can be exhausting, the key is to identify key features that could add to the learning goals. Every stakeholder’s views should be considered and weighed. Your lms should be cost efficient, not only today, but also 5 years later, and should be scalable to growing demands and changing requirements. As we define the learning goals and shortlist the important features the next step is exploring the market.

Start with basic research on the web, take time, consult with friends and colleagues, and create a preliminary shortlist. Browse through the prospective vendors’ websites, look for the features and alot them some scores. The next step is to know more about the shortlisted vendors, know it from people you know, people who might have used their products, and check for their product documentation, blogs, case studies, user ratings and testimonials. You will have a groundwork to start talking to the shortlisted vendors.

The sales teams are usually enthusiastic about their products, the point is to not to get swayed by the vibrant pitch, instead enquire about the required features, know about after support and more. Ask for a demo and use the tool for a few days, ask volunteering students to use it, let the stakeholders use it, and test for all the features. Upload great amount of content and see how the system functions, create demo tests and download reports, pay attention to all the features in the user interface, and check for other minor features.

After the demo the list of prospective suppliers should narrow down to about five, the next step is meeting the vendors (if possible), if it’s an international vendor they should have a local representative. Onsite demonstrations are an essential part before buying a product, the vendors show all the features and how the learners and the admins use it.

Make the Right Choice

When it comes to lms pricing the variation is wide and there’s a possibility that more than one lms fit all your criteria. Take all the stakeholders view again, ask your colleagues, and the existing users of the product, take time and come to the right decision after rounds of discussion.

Finding your best lms software that rightly fits into your vision is a learning in itself, there might be times when you need niche requirements, however it’s imperative to examine and test the products before you sign the deal. Online learning comes with huge benefits when rightly implemented. Looking at the future, the technology seems imperative in education and training, as we are witnessing the industry embracing technology at a steady pace. If you are not already in the league start your research and find out how online learning could be of your advantage.

Adobe announced its decision not to support, update, and distribute Flash Player from 2020. Flash will be phased out by 2020, organizations across the elearning industry are gearing up for d-day when Flash published content will be blocked on all browsers and HTML5 will be the new standard on the web. Read further to understand the impact on elearning through this 2 part series of articles. Here’s the link to the second part.

The reasons for this decision include:

  • Incompatibility of Flash with mobile devices – does not allow resizing to fit a mobile or tablet screen
  • Poor security of the information sent or received
  • Heavy usage of the device’s power and performance

All the browsers will stop supporting Flash content by 2020 and there would be a need to look out for alternative technologies to develop courses. As organizations are constantly looking at the concept of anytime, anywhere learning on any device, HTML is the popular alternative, it provides functionalities that are more stable and scalable compared to Flash content.

As the entire web is now moving from Flash content to HTML5, which is more supportive of the modern devices and platforms, and an open system, what happens to all the content built on Flash? What happens to the courses published as Flash output? 

There’s no reason to panic. There are various solutions you can avail to convert your Flash content as well as Flash published courses to HTML5.

Before that let’s delve on how HTML5 is a more optimal solution than Flash for modern elearning

  1. Security: HTML5 is more secure than Flash, HTML5 is not a plugin like Flash, and security updates are agile and done on the browser itself, all of this makes HTML5 more secure and apt for modern elearning.
  2. Compatibility: HTML5 is an open web markup language recognized by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and incorporated in all modern-day browsers. Courses built on HTML5 will render smoothly on all current browsers.
  3. Multi Device Access: Learners these days own multiple devices and they want to access content on all of them, without hassle. Flash content is created to work on PCs, HTML5 content works seamlessly across platforms and devices.
  4. Hardware Efficiency: As compared to Flash content, platforms and devices consume less than half the battery power and chip capacity when rendering HTML content. This is what we need as we use elearning in greater volume and use our devices for a wide range of applications.
  5. Added Advantages: HTML5 allows creation of mobile based quick bites of lessons. It supports interactivity and gamified learning to a higher degree.

By 2020, Flash will be obsolete, which mandates elearning providers to transition to HTML5 and convert their existing content to the open system from Flash. Like we said, there’s nothing to panic as it’s not a Herculean task, but the sooner we get onto it the better and easier it will be.

Keep watching this space for more details on the process and methodologies followed during the migration and conversion of your content from Flash to HTML5.

Write back to us for queries and feedback @ corpmarketing@impelsys.com

Elearning Trends 2018

The global elearning market is a continually shifting landscape, facts like increase in the number of edtech startups every year, geographical expansion of the market and predictions that the elearning industry will cross USD 200 bn mark in a couple of years point towards the mass acceptance of online learning in modern education systems. Year 2017 saw an increasing number of local colleges embracing online learning to complement their learning programmes, and there were other prevailing trends and technologies that shaped the future of the industry. The trends predicted to move the parts and gears of the industry for 2018 broadly follow those from the previous year. Also there is an inclination towards some new concepts that might have an impact on the industry.

Bite-sized Learning

Microlearning is not new for 2018, the practice was there in the education industry for many years and was popularized and given a new form by enabling technologies in last couple of years. However, the trend finds top spot in the current year as well, the reason being the acceptance of its impact in online learning programs as a powerful aid in imparting short but meaningful bites of lessons. Elearning providers worldwide have embraced the utility of microlearning and now most of them are providing 3-15 minutes long bites of lessons that learners can access and learn during the short breaks of their usual routine, at work, at home or while on commute. Almost all of the microlearning lessons are accessed on mobile devices.


Mobility, though on the list for more than a year now, still has a swathe of unexplored territories in online learning world. With almost everyone of us carrying a smartphone, anything that reaches and is accessible on our devices has a bigger possibility of consumption than on a PC. Elearning providers when designing courses have to think mobile first, as most of the modern learners love to do things on-the-go. Microlearning lessons, elearning games and video lessons, which are becoming significant contributors to any elearning program are best consumed on mobile devices.

Games that Teach Lessons

Gamification is not a new word for the industry, however it remains trending more than before, the reason being its wide acceptance by the industry and the multiple benefits that come with games as lessons. We all love to play little games on our devices and feel accomplished when the score is rising or a level is crossed, the same behavior is exploited by gamified elearning lessons. Besides, gamified lessons are proven to engage the learners more than plain text or mundane lectures, they are not stressful, and they can be adapted for any subject or skill. We will see a rise in gamification of learning in future with elearning providers offering more and more of the service.

Varied Sources of Content

Content generation for elearning does not have to be necessarily done by course authors and trainers only. User interaction with the courses generates ample amount of content that could lead to new insights, SMEs can have their own interpretations and ideas which could lead to better comprehension of concepts. User generated content is taking form as a new trend in the industry. Platform providers have to offer tools that accumulate and optimize user content. This practice will have benefits for enterprise learning wherein stakeholders can provide quick insights leading to better collaboration and exchange of ideas.

Artificial Intelligence as a Game Changer

Artificial Intelligence has been disrupting industries by numbers, education is one industry that has a broad range of use cases and game changing applications from AI. The technology can be used in automation of content creation, assessment, fostering a better learning environment to analyzing individual learning path to advising a career route. Microsoft’s VP, Anthony Salcito sees a lot of potential in. “It’s not about taking data sets, consolidating them and then having everyone use charts and graphs to decide a path. It’s actually having the data in an underlying way orchestrate the right activities, the right experiences and the connections that you need to make to content, to students, to the environment. And that’s true both on the classroom side, but also on the back end.”

He says it’s less about data and more about experience, so based on the learner’s aspiration in terms of career, his schedule, what classes and tests he’s taking, and who his peer groups are — his learning environment can change, and using data fuel the experiences that are unique to him based on his own conditions.

Elearning can gain immensely from Artificial Intelligence, it can augment and complement the efforts from instructors, help them in identifying loopholes in their training methods via feedback and through other data sets help the organization in building a holistic and appropriate learning environment for every individual learner.

With the shape changing nature of elearning industry it’s hard to keep up with every trend and upgrade the existing system. However it’s essential to review the programs and keep an eye on how things evolve, some parts of the evolution become integrated into the industry making it imminent to embrace them. Apart from the above mentioned trends many other concepts take form every season. E.g., online learning mainly consists of interaction with machines, but this doesn’t mean human interaction is not possible. Programs can include a human touch with video lessons, webinars and live discussions among instructors and group of learners. So, more of ‘Human Touch’, which caters to the innate emotional needs of learners will advance as a trend in future. Besides, adaptive learning, interactive videos and social learning are essential parts of any successful elearning programme.

Social Learning

Unless it’s a castaway situation learning is totally a social experience – we learn by observing and imitating others throughout our lives. In case of academic learning social engagement has a constructive effect on the way we comprehend lessons, it impacts our memory and capacity to absorb information. In a social environment learning is reinforced via discussion and exchange of ideas, the exposure to other’s opinions adds to the amount of information received.

Learning also is a continuous process, we don’t stop  learning when the tutor is gone or we leave the classroom, we discuss, we share and we collaborate. In corporate learning social has larger role where employees realize the outright benefits of sharing. Social learning is more than the exuded corporate bonhomie, it has real significance and aids the whole learning process by creating a positive atmosphere and network of information flow.

Auxiliary Learning

Classes and trainings occur at scheduled times, whereas social learning continues, peers are available when you need a quick clarification on a topic, when you have missed on something important during the lecture. Sharing and collaboration supplements and adds to the amount of learning, we can ask questions or volunteer when others are in need. Social learning helps build trust among peers and promotes open communication and sociability.

Social Learning and Modern LMSs

Modern learning is augmented by technology; learning management systems or elearning platforms in which students access the learning material in the form of digital courseware via devices like mobiles and laptops, and classes are held online in a virtual spaces, are taking over from the formal classroom setting. Modern LMSs like iPC Scholar which contribute massively to academic and enterprise learning are bound to deliver and enhance the social learning experience, made possible with the unfathomed power of technology.

Tools like discussion forums, online chat options, blogs, news feed and user groups can be part of the platform. The administrator could set the guidelines to maintain professionalism and in turn enhance the learning outcomes and productivity of the group. Plug-ins to social media platforms and blog sites with discussion in news feed or auxiliary resource in blogs will have an added advantage. Hashtags are resourceful when we want information about a topic.

Bypass Inhibition

Researchers estimate extroverts make up 50 – 74 percent of the population, the rest are introverts. In the same blog in psychologytoday.com it says that Steve Jobs, a charismatic extrovert, teamed up with introvert Steve Wozniak to co-found Apple Inc, which shows that extroverts and introverts make up a powerful team. Introverts have inhibitions which keep them from open communication, this doesn’t mean they have any less potential than those who speak up comfortably.

In her book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, author Susan Cain make this point, “There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.” she suggests that our collective extrovert bias hurts not just introverts – but the wider economy. Savvy executives know that the extrovert bias also hurts organizations and teams. Elearning platforms that support social learning are a wonderful place for introverts to share their ideas, what they couldn’t say in a classroom they can express online.

Hence technology has a role to play in facilitating social learning by means of providing platforms for auxiliary learning and bypassing inhibition. Teamwork is essential in modern corporate environment, it’s the result of convergence of multiple talents that leads to achievements, without teamwork there would be no Apple, Google or Microsoft and no aeroplanes. Elearning platforms should have those features and tools to promote collaboration in learning and training, they are bound to be inculcating the value of teamwork in the minds of learners from early on.


Adaptive Learning

A personal tutor who can interact with you with infinite patience, who knows your level of comprehension of concepts being learned or assessed for. An untiring teacher who will review with you a lesson as long as you totally fathom it and only then move forward, who is ready to skip a topic if you have prior understanding of it. This seems a far fetched dream of every student, however technology always attempts to provide humans with what they themselves can’t.

Adaptive learning is a working concept realized with technology which analyses learner’s skill level through advanced machine learning and creates a self learning environment for each student. In simplest words it is a personalized learning path carved for each student, it saves time and effort if you already know the lesson, and puts extra effort and time to make you comprehend a lesson, if there is a need. It’s a learning technique centered around the interests and needs of each individual learner as opposed to universal standards. Rapidly adopted by schools and universities across the developed part of the world, adaptive learning is touted to revolutionize education in future.

While adaptive learning technology is an aspect of high-caliber learning management systems or lms like iPublishCentral Learn, its implementation in classrooms and elearning is a part of the overall learning strategy of the concerned institution/ department/ class. The practice may not work well for all subjects, age groups, learning strategy etc, however it extends the application of ‘differentiated instruction’ as an education philosophy for effective teaching, so that all students within a classroom can learn effectively, regardless of differences in ability.

In large public schools, classrooms are bigger and students show varying levels of aptitude, this results in inconsistent learning outcomes and teacher burnout in some cases. Personalized learning carves the necessary learning path for each student, it works with an individualized timeline and effort. The feedback loop and levels of task work to bring each student at the desired proficiency, by allowing more practice and review for those who are lagging behind.

Learning in social environment is not free of inhibitions for students, varied intellect and social restraints among students make it difficult for them to fully involve and interact, technology enabled learning attempts to provide a democratic learning opportunities for quiet and reticent students. The little private space with personalized learning environment – it works as a  personal guide tailored for your unique learning requirements.

Technology has been pervading into education since the information technology revolution, and it lately has been evolving into a hi-tech industry. It’s not about projectors or computers, it’s a strategic overhaul of how education in delivered. It requires infrastructural and resource expansion which is not feasible for all economies. Hesitation towards new technology is a natural tendency, just like it took almost half a decade for electricity powered factories to take off after successful demonstration, it will be only after some time to see the outcomes and streamlining of edtech globally. Adaptive learning will be one of the leading practice with its potential of delivering equal and individualized opportunities to all – a personal tutor for the mass, a great equalizer in education.


lms features

For providers of education and business organizations online learning is no more about joining the digital bandwagon. Online learning has been proven to enhance the learning outcomes and boost productivity by a significant amount. The reports from online learning industry show a clear standing for the trend and its impact, online learning is anticipated to be a $37.6 billion market by 2020.

Learning management system or lms is going to be the mainstay product for all learning strategies in future. For those who have started believing in the power and need of online learning the first puzzle to solve is what kind of lms they need. We bring here a quick guide on what goes on in picking the best lms software and the lms features that you need.

User Experience

User Experience always finds itself in the lms features list that is must for a rewarding lms, it’s key to acceptance of any online learning platform by all the stakeholders. If your lms doesn’t provide a convenient user experience, no matter how robust it is, it will be a cause of annoyance for end users and admins. An intuitive user interface with responsive web design is a mandate for all modern lms.


More than half of the digital content worldwide is consumed on mobile devices, so is elearning. Mobility is a mandate for any learning platform if you want to capture the entire audience. A platform should have device agnostic web responsive delivery across platforms. Mobile apps are a must for elearning success, learners tend to access lesson bites on-the-go, which is best delivered through apps. This also helps in enhanced learning and in longer retention.

Course Authoring Tools

When you decide on implementing online learning in your education or training programmes, one important consideration is whether to build the digital courses yourself or get them done from digital courseware service providers. Regardless, course authoring capability is important for modern elearning platforms. There may come a time when you need to write your courses yourself, course authoring capability is an important part of lms features list to be considered.

Assessments and Feedbacks

Assessments are an integral part of any learning programme, they help in measuring learners’ comprehension and implement relevant strategies to enhance it. An lms should have tools to take assessments in various ways, depending on your needs. It could be written exams, multiple objective questions, online simulations or scenarios. Feedbacks are an important way to get opinions and views on the approval of courses, teaching methodology and the platform. Advanced lms also has certification tool, wherein upon successful completion of courses certificates are generated within the system.

Customization, Personalization, Scalability

There are hundreds of lms providers and there are millions who are going to use them. Your organization, training model and brand is unique and so is your lms features requirement. You might need to tweak some of the features, add personalization to your online learning, and provide personalized lessons to members or group of learners. Scalability is important, your lms may need new features in future, the platform should be able to integrate them without any hassle. Your new lms should also be able to integrate your branding elements in its user interface and carry the core message of your organization.

Interactivity/ Gamification

Success of modern lms is partly attributed to interactivity and gamification that it can implement. You need to consider what level of interactivity and gamification you need for your courses to deliver enhanced learning. Training on design courses need a lot of interactive elements while delivering history lectures may not, the content will be different and so will be teaching method. Augmented reality is being used in training of design, architecture, healthcare and many other fields.

Social Collaboration

Social media is a wonderful place for discussion and exchange of ideas. If your lms provides access to social media groups and blog posts it’s a valuable add on. Learners want to share ideas and get feedbacks from peers, collaborative learning is also known to alleviate the drab of exhaustive learning.

Reporting And Analytics

Tracking is one of the important lms features. To ensure effective learning it’s important to keep an eye on student progress and course impact. There are various aspects of elearning that can be tracked. You need to pin down what aspects you want to track and know whether your prospective lms provides it. Customizable tracking is an advanced feature contained in modern lms. iPublishCentral Learn is a modern lms with high customizability and scalability. It gives granular reports on various aspects of learning, helping admins implement effective strategy for enhanced learning outcome.

An effective lms is crucial to the success of any online learning programme. Choosing an lms that fulfils all your requirements and gives satisfactory return on investment needs lot of considerations, it’s wise to do research and consult the case with prospective lms software providers. It’s a time taking process which needs careful deliberation.

The above discussed list of lms features are important ones for any learning programme, besides educators also need to see if they need features like Instructor-led classes and adaptive learning engine. They need to decide whether they need a cloud based platform or installed software. Security and compatibility are an important factor for a trouble free lms. Any unwanted feature needs to be avoided as it may distract the users and result in needless cost escalation.


Build vs Buy

The question of whether to build or buy a software application is a baffling one. Companies which are small and new usually start with standard off-the-shelf products which are either free or come with a low monthly or annual cost. As the company grows it starts crying for tools that can cater to larger customer base, provide more functionalities like, deep analytics, automation, and management of processes. Most of the organizations which are not big MNCs lack on a clear idea on software selection process, often and almost always it takes experience of years on choosing the right software that fulfil all current and future requirements.

Build vs Buy

The question of build vs buy is faced by most organisations and institutions at some point of time, this challenge requires a high level of rational analysis. Often the answer is arrived at based on emotional drivers giving less weightage to hard data. When faced with this indecisiveness, to buy an existing off-the-shelf product seems like a safer bet. The cost of these canned products are lesser compared to building a new software from scratch or outsourcing it to a development shop, they provide with the required functionalities and save a lot of time and money. Customised products on the other hand may cost higher and may not be available on time for the ongoing project.

As it may seem a safer bet at the moment, off-the-shelf tools may not fulfil the ever changing needs of a growing and dynamic organization, standard products come with standard functionalities which are common over the industry and may not fulfil your unique business models. Customized software on the other hand require time and resources to develop, the choice of in house development requires a large pool of IT talent dedicated for the software development and may take your focus out of the core business. Faced with this indecisiveness, leaders need to deeply analyse all the aspects, consult with vendors and have multiple brainstorming before arriving at the correct judgement.

Requirement Analysis

The foremost step is to create a list of all the features your new tool ought to have, it should cover all the current and future expectations. It’s highly unlikely that a software will fulfil all of your expectations, however it is imperative to have a list and rank them on priorities. Requirement analysis itself is not a simple task as there is always unknown features whose absence might become an obstacle for an allround functioning of the tool in near future. Feedbacks from customers and employees will throw up some light on the features whose existence will make your tool a robust and comprehensive one. Another clever thing to do is to peep into your competitors solutions and do some reverse engineering, that is to extensively scan it to get enlightened on the features which would benefit your business model.

Time And Cost

When you’ve got a list of all the features your software needs to have, it gives you an idea of how much time and resources it takes to build one. If your organization has enough IT talent to spare for the project and you can wait so long for the tool to be developed from scratch, and if the expected outcome from the tool justifies every effort that goes into making it, the decision sways towards in-house development. Off-the-shelf products come low cost and are readily available, but a careful analysis needs to be made if it satisfies all the requirements, a 70% satisfaction should sway the decision towards buying a readymade.

The hard decision of whether to build or buy a software solution is arrived at with careful analysis of all the aspects. The bottomline is that if a standard existing product satisfies most of the requirements and the scope of your project is largely covered by it, it doesn’t make sense to invest big money and time to build a custom software. But what if even after rigorous analysis, down the line new requirements crop up?

iPublishCentral Learn, the flagship online learning management system used by globally renowned institutions, enterprises and educators is a ready to use platform which can also be customized as per unique requirements. This learning tool which has a standard avatar also has the required framework to add, subtract or tweak extra features. The perfect blend of standard and customized features allows the flexibility and adaptability to suit any requirements. Providers of education and enterprise training who want to adopt online learning can amply benefit from iPublishCentral Learn, a robust online learning platform which provides device agnostic online/ offline learning experience with course builder and assessment management. As the experience grows, features like deep analytics and adaptive learning can be added to make it more comprehensive online learning experience.

RoI Potential

While acquiring a new tool the most important aspect to consider for an organization is whether the product will help generate enough money to justify its cost. For learning institutions the question is whether the tool will be widely accepted and it adds an important dimension to the education programmes successfully. For enterprises implementing online training the investment should justify its cost by providing enhanced employee training and management. The decision is influenced by whether the expectations are met by any standard product available or there is a need of customized product which will give satisfactory returns on the time and money invested. Either way the tool should fit in your vision, it should help in the long term goal of your organization and be flexible enough to adapt to future needs and justify its costs.