Off-the-shelf LXP or Custom LXP: How to Choose?

Off-the-shelf LXP or Custom LXP: How to Choose?

A few years back, the LXP market was valued at around $300 million and has been growing by more than 50% each year. By 2026, it’s projected to hit nearly $2.2 billion.

An LXP (learning experience platform) is a cutting-edge method for delivering knowledge and enhancing professional skills. It’s innovative and moves quickly.

Due to big data analysis, customizable interface, and AI in education, LXP tailors to individual preferences and requirements. Similar to Netflix in e-learning, LXP prioritizes user needs and offers intelligent content suggestions.

There are many ready-made LXPs available on the market with excellent features. However, they often cater to various business needs rather than addressing specific needs relevant to your company or industry.

Let’s explore what company executives and L&D (learning and development) leaders dislike about using such platforms.

Price

Creating custom software, particularly for large enterprises with over 1000 employees, can be costly. Additionally, consider the availability of developer resources for maintaining your in-house system. Having a highly qualified team entails significant expenditure.

The most popular ready-made LXPs available on the market typically use a Software as a Service (SaaS) pricing model. This means you pay a subscription license fee on a monthly or yearly basis. The cost usually varies based on the number of employees and the features you require.

Over time, a custom LXP might prove more cost-effective than an off-the-shelf LXP. However, it’s crucial to thoroughly evaluate your business needs and budget to choose the most suitable strategy.

Time

Before selecting the most suitable option for your needs, it is highly advised you to consider this question: How quickly do you need to deploy an LXP?

If you need to address urgent L&D issues, it might be preferable to explore existing solutions.

If you can dedicate time to expert consulting, preparing technical requirements, and building and testing a solution, creating your own product could be a rewarding choice.

Security concerns

Security is crucial for businesses, particularly for enterprises. Secure software enables safe and private storage and management of your data. Some off-the-shelf LXPs may lead to data leaks due to internal technical issues. Users may encounter such problems when trying to connect with external services integrated into the LXP.

With a custom LXP, you have ownership of the solution and complete control, without granting access to third parties to your infrastructure and data. You can implement various options to enhance your security measures, such as ensuring GDPR compliance, establishing a reliable backup system, enabling two-factor authentication, and restricting privileges for certain user groups.

All these measures will be customized to meet your specific business needs.

Content Management Gaps

Some LXPs prohibit uploading third-party content entirely, while others allow connection via links. It could be convenient to share useful and interesting content with colleagues on a unified platform.

Another commonly reported issue by users is the presence of numerous outdated materials that remain unchanged or updated.

Additionally, customers encounter a shortage of diverse multimedia content. Some ready-to-use LXPs only offer audiobooks without transcripts, while others lack visual options, such as support for images in articles and comments.

Finally, many users complain that some platforms do not support offline reading, requiring internet access to open learning materials.

An in-house solution can address these issues. Your employees can upload external content, thanks to SCORM and xAPI compatibility. Additionally, they can download materials and read them offline with support for offline mode.

Furthermore, you can request a built-in content authoring tool for your custom LXP. This is crucial if you offer a unique curriculum and learning model. The instructional designers in your organization will have an easy-to-use tool for creating custom learning modules with diverse content formats, including video, audio, text, images, and presentations, tailored to your technical requirements.

All these features will greatly enhance your employees’ retention and the outcomes of investing in LXP.

Lack of Administrative Features

When administrators, typically L&D leaders, have limited capabilities to monitor learners’ activities, it can result in the overall ineffectiveness of the L&D process.

One of the most desired features in off-the-shelf LXPs is a detailed reports function. Managers expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of insights from dashboards in reviews. Additionally, they were disappointed with the quiz function due to the absence of statistics and feedback. Lastly, employees expressed a desire to track their success and view themselves on leader dashboards.

Some administrators raised concerns about the absence of notifications in the system. They are unsure whether employees are active on the platform or have completed their learning paths. L&D leaders find it tedious and time-consuming to manually check each learner’s progress.

A proprietary LXP resolves the limitations of admin functionality. Your software development team can incorporate automatically generated reports and system alerts. Dynamic dashboards will enable real-time monitoring of employees’ progress. Furthermore, you can inquire about transferring data among your other in-house software through API integrations.

Customized or Off-the-Shelf?

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all strategy for every company. Selecting the appropriate LXP depends on various factors including organization size, business domain, and required functionality.

The typical drawbacks of off-the-shelf solutions include security issues, limited admin functionality, a buggy user experience, and challenges with up-to-date and diverse content.

The primary concerns with custom software are short-term high costs and time-consuming development.

Lastly, you have the option of a hybrid approach. Firstly, you can customize certain functions in the product using open-source code. Secondly, you can purchase an off-the-shelf LXP to quickly meet your current L&D needs while concurrently developing a proprietary solution for future use.