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When it comes to implementing facility management software, you have several options. You can host it at another data center, install it using your company’s own internal servers, or use cloud-based facility management software.
Cloud-based facility management software is hosted by a provider who charges a subscription fee that typically covers licensing, maintenance, and upgrades. This model, also known as software as a service (SaaS), has been the preferred choice of modern workplace leaders for over two decades now.
Here are 10 compelling reasons why.
Data is the lifeblood of facility management.
With cloud-based facility management software, data aggregation and analysis is exponentially easier. Since every piece of information is automatically backed up to a secure cloud server, you don’t have to rely on manual backups.
In addition, because the cloud server is secure, you don’t need to be concerned about data breaches.
The expenses of investing in on-premise facility management software go well beyond the purchase price. First, there’s the initial cost of new hardware, including servers and networking equipment. That’s assuming you have the space available to house it. Then there’s the cost of maintaining and updating that equipment, which can be significant.
With cloud-based facility management software, there are no additional assets or spaces to manage. You don’t have to monitor the performance of the servers or the temperature and humidity of the space where they are stored. And because there are fewer assets, there are fewer opportunities for hardware failure.
Upgrading a legacy software solution hosted is typically an expensive, time-consuming project. It can take a year or longer to plan, another year to gain budget approval, and yet another year to implement. For a large enterprise, an upgrade of this scale can cost a million dollars or more. (Are you feeling the sticker shock yet?)
With cloud-based facility management software, the provider releases updates to all users on a regular basis. The cost is typically covered in your subscription fees, and in most cases, the updates are available immediately.
Cloud-based software providers are only successful if they are able to retain a large customer base. Because the pricing model is built on customer loyalty, there is a greater incentive for providers to continually improve their offerings. They are more likely to introduce new features based on the changing business environment and the needs of their customers.
On-premise software solutions are installed once and may not be updated again for a long time, due to the cost and time involved in making those updates.
In addition to improving business outcomes, another major goal of innovation is enhancing the user experience. Cloud-based facility management software tends to triumph over other solutions in this category, too. That's because the best SaaS software providers constantly engage with their customers to gather feedback and update the look and feel of their software.
They also tend to make customer support a priority. That includes maintaining a knowledge center that is continually updated, as well as being accessible via phone, email, and chat.
Even with all of the most accurate data available, forecasting the future needs of a company isn’t an exact science. The size and needs of your company will fluctuate over time, which means whatever technologies you’re using to manage operations must be able to adapt.
Cloud-based facility management software is designed to do just that. If your company needs to add new users or new features as you grow, it’s easy to do that remotely. And if your company’s growth requires additional data storage, your software provider can take care of that, too.
Cloud-based facility management software is specifically built to be flexible and easily scaled whether your company is growing or consolidating.
These days, flexibility doesn't just mean adding more users as you grow. It also means being ready to take advantage of the latest technology — including IoT sensors, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Cloud-based facility management software enables these connections through standard integrations or an API.
The benefits of cloud-based facility management solutions aren’t limited to facility managers. Every member of your organization can take advantage of the power, flexibility, and mobility of cloud-based software. And because the solution’s upgrades and feature expansions are often the result of user feedback, employees will consistently have access to the most user-friendly version of the software.
Getting approval from your executive team to increase the facility management budget can feel like a Herculean task.
But the cost-effectiveness of cloud-based facility management makes budget conversations easier and increases the likelihood of approval. Using cloud-based facility management software means you need approval on two costs: 1) the initial set-up fee, and 2) the ongoing subscription cost. That’s it.
You don’t have to spend weeks or months trying to schedule meetings with various members of the organization. Instead, you can get approval, work with IT to set up the cloud-based system, and go back to doing what you do best: optimizing your workplace.
Workplace leaders who invest in cloud-based facility management software often see immediate ROI. In many cases, this comes from consolidating several disparate solutions, allowing them to avoid paying multiple licensing fees. They also achieve greater efficiency by automating manual tasks, such as reminding the FM team of preventive maintenance activities or service requests.
And because the software requires little to no upfront investment, it often pays for itself in just a few months.
The modern workplace is increasingly distributed and constantly evolving. To keep up with these changes, facility managers and business leaders need a cloud-based solution that is flexible and easily accessible anywhere.
iOFFICE has an extensive history of innovative workplace management solutions. Our leaders helped found the first-ever cloud-based facility management platform in the early 2000s, and we haven't slowed down since. Our technology has evolved beyond the core functions of an integrated workplace management system (IWMS) to emphasis the "X" factor — that is, the workplace experience. The "X" also represents the unknown variables that could be introduced to the workplace in the coming years. That may include voice-enabled assistants, artificial intelligence, or even augmented reality.
We've developed our cloud-native software to be able to integrate with the technology you use today, as well as the solutions you have yet to discover. We're constantly introducing new features and updates based on feedback from our customers. Our Space-Right™ spatial distancing feature , developed in response to the coronavirus pandemic, is just one example. In the near future, we look forward to introducing new features that enable more strategic space planning and a more flexible, frictionless workplace.
If you're among the one in five business leaders who are considering investing in a workplace management system, there has never been a better time to move to the cloud.
See how our software powers smart decisions and exceptional experiences. Request a demo today.
James McDonald is a sports enthusiast, brother in Christ and once swam in a tank with the infamous TV sharks.