Should you Take the Best-of-Breed Approach to your LMS?

Perhaps your New Year’s resolution is to exercise more. Or, like many learning and development professionals, perhaps you’re determined to decide if your company should take a best-of-breed approach to the LMS it uses. Not sure what decision you’d land on? Here are some things to consider.

As Mike Maiorino, founder and CEO of HRMS Solutions, explains here, talent professionals are debating if they should take a unified or best-of-breed approach to technology. Essentially, a “unified” approach is the reliance upon one piece of enterprise software to handle the many responsibilities of managing employees. In Maiorino’s mind, a unified solution functions — at minimum — as:

  • HRIS (including LMS)
  • Payroll and tax management
  • Talent management
  • Time and scheduling management

In fact, many HRISs function as unified solutions themselves. And they do a lot more than Maiorino’s minimum requirements. As learning professionals, we naturally gravitate to the unified HRISs that include an LMS component. The question becomes this: does the unified solution offer an LMS that does all you need it to do? If not, you may need a different approach.


The alternative approach that’s become most popular is referred to as “best-of-breed.” This strategy capitalizes on the advancement of API technology. Rather than relying on a single solution, companies that adopt the best-of-breed strategy can create an integrated ecosystem of multiple, specialized solutions. In short, this approach allows companies to use an LMS that best fits their needs.

Pros and Cons

One positive of a unified solution is that your employees get one seamless user experience. And on the back end, data is transferred and stored in one platform, which is certainly beneficial to the company. However, the glaring drawback of a unified HRIS is that it might do too much to do anything great. If proper attention is not given to the LMS component, it may be limited, and knowing how important learning and development is to today’s workers, that’s not an area any company can afford to slack in.

Meanwhile, a best-of-breed arrangement can provide you with the following:

Those traits add up to create the kind of specialized LMS that more and more learning professionals are realizing they need. And that last trait serves as an important reminder: opting for a best-of-breed LMS doesn’t require the disposal of an already-existing HRIS and the loads of employee data it stores; if an LMS is truly best-of-breed, it should be able to integrate with your other major technology solutions.

At Roundtable, we operate with best-of-breed ideals in mind. Call us, today, to learn how we can help you perfect the learning and development portion of your best-of-breed ecosystem.