by Lucy Clews on Dec 19th, 2016 in balance blog
buy vs build: the LMS


When making the decision whether to buy or build your own LMS, analyse the pros and cons of each option to see which better suits your business needs and weigh the importance of the available features.



If buying, you will need to ensure that it meets at least of 80% of your desired functionality. The main benefit of buying an existing LMS or using an open source platform is the cost.

It can be far less expensive to opt for one of these if you can find one that meets your core requirements. Many LMS companies offer customisations that can be utilised to further expand on the core functionality but at an extra cost.

It can also save time, making it quicker to release to your users and allows you to create the content you want to host.  However, there may be limitations with what you can do with a purchased system and it may not meet the desired reporting needs.



Building an LMS provides the freedom of creating a bespoke system that is designed to do everything you need it to, from design, modification and analytics. 

This incidentally, makes it more expensive and will take more time to develop from scratch, but when you have a finished product it will fulfil your hosting and reporting requirements. 

You can choose to build in house, or outsource the project if the resources are not available internally and instead spend the time developing the content.


in conclusion


Ultimately, the decision that you make will be a direct result of the available budget and your company's needs. If you require a large amount of 'add on' features for instance, a social learning platform, mentoring matches and a comprehensive comms area, a bespoke build may be a better option. On the other hand, if you just want a simple system to host elearning content, an off-the-shelf LMS may be better suited to you. However, these are not the hard and fast rules and the best advice is simply to shop around.



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