When you consolidate and reduce the number of your company's learning systems, a cumulative positive effect is spread across the entire training organization.
There will be fewer system support requirements, less maintenance, fewer patches, fewer resource requirements, fixes and upgrades. In addition, you’ll need fewer people with technology skill sets, which helps to reduce support costs. The bonus benefit is your reporting will become easier, which will lead to better learning measurements.
In our experience, there are two main challenges to the consolidation and centralization of learning technology: 1. Deciding what to do with legacy data 2. How to meet the functional requirements of varying business units
With regard to legacy data, there are several options. Assuming you have the ability to keep your legacy systems, you can migrate users to new systems and build data integration into your stable legacy systems. Users can still access the data, but you won’t have to go through a big data migration effort, which can be time consuming and expensive.
If you have to go through a data migration effort, which is usually accompanied by a significant amount of data clean up, it makes sense to conduct a data audit and do some systems analysis up front.
The second big challenge is how to meet the functional requirements of various groups across your organization. More and more training departments are leveraging newer technologies and approaches by building LMS functionality OUTSIDE of their LMS, in the form of portals and widgets. This approach allows you to customize to the needs of those diverse business units and significantly improve the user experience.