On-premises vs. Cloud LMS: Which One to Choose?

Nowadays, every firm is turning to eLearning for its training and development requirements. But consumers are frequently unsure about the type of LMS they should select from the plethora of companies in the market.

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There are traditional on-premise LMS and modern cloud-based LMS. But which one should you choose for your business?

The wisest response would sound a little frustrating: “It depends on your e-learning needs.” That is why it is essential to understand your own requirements and how certain features can help your business before selecting an LMS.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question because business organizations have different goals to achieve with an LMS solution. Looking at successful examples can be inspiring, but it is not enough to make a final decision. You don’t want to follow the footsteps of others and end up with an expensive solution full of features you don’t really need or a simpler one that falls short of your expectations — which is a waste of money in any case.

Below are a few things that distinguish cloud LMS solutions from on-premise LMS solutions.

What is a Cloud-based LMS?

A Cloud-Based LMS is a software solution system that can be accessed without the need for any hardware or software.

Logging into the provider’s website allows learners to access the system and use its features.

Cloud LMS is an excellent choice for organizations with limited resources but a major LMS requirement for their training.

As long as the content is available on the cloud, the features are accessible from any device. Anybody with an internet connection can use a SaaS LMS. Some may use a web browser such as Edge or Chrome, while others have native Android and iOS apps.

What is On-Premise LMS?

An on-premise LMS is hosted on a company’s servers. The organization’s IT staff manages the on-premise LMS. An on-premise LMS’s unique selling point (USP) is that an organization holds complete control over its data and content. This is crucial for organizations where user privacy and data protection laws are most important.

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What is The Difference Between a Cloud LMS and an On-premise LMS?


The Cloud LMS is a Software as a Service (SaaS) system application. Users can power up the LMS in a matter of minutes by visiting the provider’s website.

On-premise LMS requires more time for system implementation and considerably higher initial investment. This happens when the information is stored on the organization’s property.


When you have the LMS in the data center, it provides more control over customization. It helps you make code changes and integration changes without taking help from external people. However, when you are making customizations, you will likely need to make additional changes when software updates are implemented or released.

Since most cloud LMS use the same basic coding standard for many clients, you will have fewer opportunities to customize a cloud-based LMS. But you can expect a decent amount of customization, including logo addition, feature selection, color scheme, and more, to make the LMS represent your learning and training processes.


From a training perspective, obtaining a cloud solution or hosting the LMS system on the server of the service provider may be more appropriate. Because of its mobile capabilities and the fact that the data is hosted in the cloud, a cloud LMS is a much more portable system that can be used anytime and anywhere.

An on-premise system, however, is useful for businesses whose content maintains a higher complexity, has stringent security specifications, or demands that the data and software applications come from a server, for example, for compliance training.

The Installation Method

Most cloud-based LMS solutions can be accessed directly from the service provider. You can simply log in to the LMS platform to access your dashboard/interface.

Installing on-premise LMSs typically takes more time and effort. Additionally, more complicated systems may necessitate the services of an IT expert. The process usually takes longer, but you have more freedom to customize the interface. For example, adding reporting features and changing the layout.


With a cloud LMS, you are much more likely to know the definite price of the LMS because there are no additional costs for upgrades or maintenance. It is more difficult to project the true cost of an on-premise solution because there may be expenses that cannot be predicted due to implementation, operating system updates, and hidden costs.

In general, the cost of a cloud LMS may appear to be more acceptable in every way. Its reach, prowess, and hosting services enable significant and effective cost savings. However, for big institutions and companies that require an LMS system with extensive customization and branding capabilities, having an on-premise LMS from which they can fully exploit their potential, is far more convenient.


The storage capacity of your existing servers will help you decide which LMS system to use. If you have scant server space or if expanding your existing server base is not an option right now, Cloud LMS is the best option for you.

On-Premise LMS is the alternative to choose if you have sufficient storage capacity and would like to have your LMS installed along with your other programs. Integration of the LMS with your other programs may be a complex and time-consuming process, resulting in delays in the implementation of the learning program.

Product Updates

Cloud LMS automatically updates its users’ products. The LMS’s updates and features are delivered to users in real-time, minimizing delays.

On-premise learning management systems (LMS) are much less dynamic. The LMS solutions will remain static until new upgrades are developed and deployed to their users. As a result, employees may not have immediate access to the most up-to-date information.

Support and maintenance

Consider how much assistance you will require for the LMS’s implementation and use. As a cloud LMS is hosted on the LMS provider’s servers, you will receive comprehensive technical support from the service providers.

In contrast, with an on-premise solution, you must manage platform support and deal with any issues that may arise internally.

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As you might expect, there is no definite winner in our private cloud vs. on-premise comparison.

Both cloud and on-premise hosting have advantages and disadvantages, as well as different limitations. Either of them would be a good fit for your enterprise training requirements.

It all boils down to your company’s IT skills, training requirements, and LMS software selection. You can now use this comparative analysis to determine the best course of action for your LMS training program.

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