Do you think that an open-source platform is the best solution for your business but you're still not 100% sure? Today we'll consider some advantages (and some disadvantages) of this type of LMS platform.
When it comes to choosing an LMS platform for your business training, there are several elements to consider, for example: What are your company's needs? What budget do you have? What features and support services do you need to get the most ROI? If you already lean towards an open-source platform, it means that you've already found answers to many of these questions. To make the picture more complete, let's see together some of the most significant advantages of this type of platform.
The advantages of an open-source platform
1. Low costs
This is one of the most important advantages of open-source platforms; usually, it's possible to download the software for free and then pay for any upgrades, plugins, or additions. Some platforms require a small fee, certainly much less than a monthly or annual license.
2. Possibility of customization
In addition to being free in their basic version, open-source platforms such as Forma LMS are customizable according to your needs. For example, you can incorporate your own branding, adjust the layout and customize the dashboard. In fact, you can change almost every aspect of your platform to meet your specific training goals.
3. Information security
Information security is one of the hottest and most current problems. E-learning courses contain user data and sensitive information that must be kept safe from prying eyes. Fortunately, most platforms today feature advanced security protocols and features, such as IP blockers, strong password authentication, domain-based registrations, and data encryption.
4. Information material and tutorials
Although free or available at low cost in their basic version, open-source management systems almost always have a section dedicated to documentation and tutorials that explain in detail how to configure and manage the platform.
Many open source management systems feature vibrant online communities where you can find and exchange tips for mastering the platform's features. You can also ask questions when a problem is encountered.
6. Evolvability and integrability
If compared to proprietary technologies, open-source support systems are usually easier to update and evolve; over time it may be necessary to add new features or install patches that fix bugs. Furthermore, open-source platforms can often be integrated with other business applications, definitely a very important feature. For example, integrating authentication systems is crucial for keeping personal data up-to-date and automating registration procedures.
A few disadvantages
Open source platforms also have some small disadvantages that should be taken into consideration.
1. Need for computer skills
Compared to proprietary solutions, which are more closed and have higher customization costs, open-source platforms have a greater level of expandability and customizability. In the open-source environment, however, it's necessary to take care of all the management: configuration, personalization, control and monitoring of data, etc. Despite the presence of documentation and tutorials, dealing with all of this is not always child's play and requires some skill.
2. Lack of some features
In the free version, some management systems have limited functionality that can be updated or integrated for a fee. When choosing an open-source system, it is essential to make sure which are the basic features, available for free, as well as to ensure how much, in general, the platform is modifiable and evolvable.
3. Limited assistance
Many open-source LMS have very active communities but don't offer real assistance, which can become a problem, especially in the configuration phase and in ordinary management.
In conclusion, choosing an open-source platform undoubtedly has many more advantages from all points of view, first of all from the point of view of costs. In our next articles, we're going to see in detail why a company, even a small one, should invest in an LMS platform.