SaaS engagement models are popular among most LMS vendors. It offers many potential benefits to both vendors and customers. But vendors offering SaaS solutions in the learning space face certain unique challenges. Some critical challenges of SaaS that Learning Management System providers must try fixing:
By implementing SaaS, there is a limit put on the number of LMS servers in the cloud and provide on-demand service for customers. This can work for your small and medium businesses clients. You’ll find many training companies and enterprises host their training on-site, to stay compliant with their IT policies. There is simply no way that they can risk any data being hosted outside of their premises.
Physical Separation of Database
Similarly, this is another challenge. Despite the shared architecture that platforms like Saba Cloud LMS may support, large enterprises and training companies prefer independent databases (Know more about Saba Cloud). They have concerns about a logical separation of data. Their stringent IT and data security policies are the reason for this in most cases.
Upgrades and Regular Maintenance
By simplifying maintenance and upgrades, SaaS will benefit their operations department. On the other hand, it is nearly impossible to have a single maintenance and version upgrade schedule for all of your clients. Even though this may seem insignificant, many training companies and large enterprises hold training sessions in different time zones. Each client will require some time to prepare for a version upgrade, and this may vary. The time required will depend on how the upgrade will affect that client. Clients can even resist version upgrades at times.
Upfront and Long-Term Payments
The issue of financial security arises from using SaaS. Many of them need upfront payments as well as long-term commitments. It applies even if you do not know when you will require their services or if the policy terms will change in the future. Investing in this area could be risky because the result could be something that might not meet your expectations and needs.
In contrast, that doesn’t ensure the security of customers. Despite the contract, the service is going to remain, but its quality and safety may be compromised. Users may find themselves unable to update an application, which can harm its functionality. You may be exposed to several security flaws if you don’t update your encryption. This in turn could compromise your data. Before you pay, make sure the encryption is up to date.
Lack of Transparency
There is often secrecy surrounding SaaS providers. Their clients are led to believe that they will keep their data safe better than any other provider out there. Customers are guaranteed to be able to secure data and records more efficiently than they can do themselves. But customers do not rely too much on their word. Many valid concerns are sure to arise due to the absence of transparency regarding its security protocols as a whole.
Customers may become distrustful due to this lack of transparency. The results leave them with doubts in their understanding and speculation on the product they are using. However, SaaS vendors claim that their services remain private by not disclosing details about data centres or other operations that may affect the safety of their users. Many users may find the argument plausible, but others may have concerns.
Direct Control of Data
In addition to threats of a SaaS server going down, there are concerns about not having direct control over data. On the plus side, you won’t have to install, organize, update, or improve your security system. It means you lose a measure of control over it. For instance, if something went wrong and you lost your data, you would need to get in touch with the service provider. If it takes a long time for their answer and only then you will get an explanation of what may have occurred.
There are varying degrees of customization offered by providers, which may be limited. Data storage is the responsibility of the SaaS provider. In a sense, it’s a relief, but it also leaves users feeling less in control. Sometimes, it takes a long time for them to get an answer when they are having a problem.
Licensing is tricky with SaaS vendors. Since all the ownership belongs to the developer of the platform one hundred per cent, you are only renting out the system with your licensing. Therefore, you do not have any control over the system or own the system in any way. This technically limits your license. If you stop paying for the license at any time, the system developer can cancel the license and stop you from accessing the platform easily.
Meanwhile, as the developer owns the whole system, the platform is also susceptible to sudden changes. For example, the developer might drop features or add some new ones, They can redesign the interface or can simply change their policies. They can even make changes in the pricing policies making their license more expensive than before while you have no control over it. In case of a sudden change, all you can do is accept the change and try to adapt to it as soon as possible by adjusting your training process to it.
SaaS LMSs are under the control of the developers. Thus, you as a user, cannot make changes in the software. However, it doesn’t mean that these systems are totally unchangeable. The best thing you can do when you want a specific feature in the LMS or want to customize it in any way, you can pay the developers for the changes.
With SaaS, you also get a very limited number of integrations. You might either only get the integrations that are officially integrated by the developer or you might have to pay more for the integrations that you require.
These challenges are also present for customers. By completely ignoring these challenges, you would simply be imposing an unfair model on your clients. For this to be a viable option for your clients, you need to find a middle ground. That will maximize the advantages of SaaS engagement without sacrificing the benefits.