Homegrown Online Learning Isn't Scaleable

Emily McLaughlin
Aug 4, 2017 10:38:49 AM

If your organization has ever built homegrown technology from scratch, odds are you know how difficult it can be to create, manage, and scale technology in-house. When it comes to building online learning technology from the ground up, many organizations encounter the same issues.

Homegrown technology might work for internal training, but if your organization is looking to sell and scale an online learning business, homegrown requires a lot of internal resources to achieve competitive advantage. While most scalable SaaS (software-as-a-service) or out-of-the-box online learning technologies come at a cost, the value they add is worth investing in.

Not convinced? Here are some snags you might run into as you attempt to build and scale homegrown online learning technology:

  • Development: Developing great technology requires certain skills -- skills that aren't easily learned. Without great developers in-house, it will be difficult to build a robust, functional online learning technology. In fact, you might need to hire new staff or outside help to create the learning environment. After overcoming that first hurdle, you will also need developers to manage and update the technology to keep up with your needs, to manage integrations, and to satisfy learners' requests. As your business grows and scales, more developers will be needed to help you innovate at the same speed. 

  • Managing Accounts: Building and managing your online learning technology in-house will require the management of 3rd party accounts for monetization, reporting, authoring, and more. When you purchase an online learning platform, many of the applications and tools are integrated and managed for you. If you want to integrate any 3rd party applications or use them in conjunction with your homegrown technology, you need staff to research, negotiate, choose, and manage those accounts. 

  • Staffing: As mentioned above, staffing is a reoccurring issue when it comes to developing homegrown technology. As you scale your online learning business, you need more staff to support the technology, different accounts, and your clients. Hiring staff requires more money and more space.

The limitations of homegrown technology extend past development, managing accounts and staffing. Creating online learning technology from scratch takes time. It also takes time away from executives and other important cohorts in the business. So, as your organization investigates whether to build or buy online learning, keep these challenges in mind.

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