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    Facilities managers hedge their bets with cloud-based solutions

    by Elizabeth Dukes on February 22, 2013

    In the past, facilities managers had limited options for recording and reporting move changes, maintenance requests, visitor logs and supply counts. They were once forced to keep track of this data with pen and paper, so when computers and spreadsheets came along, they might have felt a huge weight had been lifted off of their shoulders. Rather than painstakingly sifting through physical documents, they could store important paperwork in a central, digital location and easily access files. However, technology has advanced light years ahead.


    Now, FMs can tap into their facilities maintenance software to view work orders, floor plans through move management software and asset locations through asset tracking software no matter where they are in buildings, thanks to cloud-based applications.

    These options, known as Software as a Service (SaaS), have become popular solutions because unlike previous platforms, users can see real-time updates and benefit from global accessibility.

    "After more than a decade of use, adoption of SaaS continues to grow and evolve within the enterprise application markets," said Tom Eid, research vice president at Gartner. The research firm forecasts SaaS revenue will grow throughout 2015 when it reaches $21.3 billion.

    "This is occurring as tighter capital budgets demand leaner alternatives, popularity and familiarity with the model increases, and interest in platform as a service (PaaS) and cloud computing grows," Eid added.

    Moreover, facilities management systems that are SaaS based are more likely to be approved by IT. IT departments are burdened with maintaining their corporate infrastructure and core business applications. They do not have the time or resources to support administrative software applications, regardless of their value to the organization. SaaS models are typically more cost effective as they eliminate additional hardware and IT resources and are subscription based. SaaS models are also scalable, providing you with the ability to manage multiple locations within the same URL and SaaS models are easier to maintain, as the provider can remotely push out updates and changes, as well as provide interactive on-line support