7 Must Have LMS Features: #7 - Open Source

October 18, 2016

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The LMS landscape enhances training effectiveness for organizations in various markets, if you know which features to look for — but with over 600 options in the LMS market, shopping for a new platform is no easy task. We're going to outline which LMS features allow you to enhance the effectiveness of training delivery, increase learner engagement and retention, enhance the user experience, all while saving time and money. This is the last blog in our 7-part series, Must Have LMS Features. Check out the last post here. 

Why You Need an Open Source LMS


Open Source LMS are highly flexible. According to an eLearning Industry survey, 40% of respondents indicated that flexibility is the number one reason for selecting an open source solution. What we mean when we say ‘highly flexible’ is that organizations have the ability to tailor their open source LMS so that it meets the look and feel of their organizations branding. Additionally, with the power and expertise of a global community of developers, open source LMS users benefit from a wealth of features and applications allowing them to have a system that performs to their exact specifications. If a feature or application is not available, guess what? Open source code allows you to create it!

Open Source LMS also provide greater security. There’s a reason why the US Department of Defense decided just under a year ago that they would be moving their Distributed Data Framework (DDF), a software search engine for intelligence, to one that is open source. Their reasoning, which is unanimous for many healthcare organizations and corporations alike, is the open source solutions are more secure. The reason why open source solutions are more secure than proprietary solutions lies in the large user base of (often) global developers who can respond to security and bug fixes in a matter of days rather than months. Bottom line, open source code allows developers to increase product quality fast allowing users to benefit from a learning management system that grows as you do.

Lastly, open source LMS cost less than their proprietary counterparts. It doesn’t matter if you have a learning and talent development budget as large as McDonald’s—all organizations are looking for ways to cut costs. If you could receive the same benefit from something that costs less, wouldn't you? According to analysis from Coverity Scan, a leader in software development, open source and proprietary solutions are on par when it comes to defects and bugs that effect system functions. To be precise, Coverty found that defect densities are 0.69 to 0.68 respectively, when analyzing open source and proprietary code. This explains why 60% of respondents from an eLearning industry survey cited cost and benefit being their number one reason for choosing an open source LMS. Since open source LMS do not require licensing fees, organizations also recognize the benefit in being able to allocate licensing fee costs to implementation instead. This, not to mention, largely benefits the success of an LMS in your organization.

For all 7 Must-Have Features, download our LMS Buyers Guide!

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