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    FMs realize benefits of SaaS for integrated workplace management systems

    Elizabeth Dukes


    These days, it's seems as though everything is bound for the 'cloud.' Files, data and applications are now stored on central servers that can be accessed by subscribers. This has revolutionized the way employees get work done and employers manage operations because they no longer have to be in physical offices to retrieve and update action-critical files.

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    Mobility is becoming a linchpin to success across many industries, and it's proven to be especially beneficial in positions with diverse duties like facilities management. FMs have their hands full managing on-site staff members, overseeing contracted vendors and tracking progress on goals, such as cost reduction and sustainability. That's why many facilities managers are investing in cloud-based applications, called software as a service (SaaS), for their integrated workplace management systems (IWMS) that allow them to monitor all processes and operations. These programs have demonstrated a number of benefits, including lower costs and easy installation, mobility, automatic updates and free maintenance, disaster recovery and security.

    Low costs and easy to install

    Unlike other software and hardware solutions, SaaS systems don't require large upfront investments. For a subscription fee, facilities managers can access platforms that help them fulfill their many job duties more efficiently. Moreover, the cloud-based programs don't need to be installed, which saves time and money.

    Mobile solutions for on-the-go FMs

    In today's wireless work environments, it doesn't make sense for facilities managers to be tethered to computer systems or buried in spreadsheets. SaaS programs offer flexibility because they're stored on cloud-based servers. FMs can access applications using tablets, laptop computers and mobile devices so they can always tap into data to make action-critical decisions.

    Automatic updates to stay on the cutting edge

    To remain ahead of the curve, facilities managers need to leverage the latest technology for monitoring energy consumption and tracking assets. With legacy software, companies would need to keep abreast of developments, invest in upgrades and then install the new features. Now, SaaS providers take the reigns and update applications with the latest features automatically and at no extra cost, saving FMs time so they can focus on more important responsibilities.

    No maintenance needed

    Facilities managers are all too familiar with the maintenance process and the amount of time it can take get some repairs completed. When they deploy cloud-based applications, FMs can wipe their hands of IT upkeep because it's dealt with by suppliers.

    Prevent security issues and recover quickly from disasters

    Despite its widespread adoption, some C-suite execs remain skeptical of SaaS due to security concerns, but those fears are largely unfounded, according to Spend Matters. In fact, many program developers ensure the highest levels of security and privacy to keep sensitive data protected.

    At the same time, FMs using SaaS programs can rest assured knowing that if a disaster does strike, their information won't be compromised and can easily be accessed for immediate responses, even if on-site hardware is damaged.

    SaaS can be a game-changer

    Given the deluge of innovations hitting the marketplace at the same time, it might be difficult for decision-makers to spot the gems from those they'd be smart to pass by. Cloud computing and SaaS have surfaced during this slew, which has caused some firms to question if they truly revolutionize the way work is performed, according to Information Week. However, there's a growing awareness that SaaS platforms can be leveraged to improve business capabilities through customized deployments.

    Early adopters are overwhelmingly satisfied

    Supporting this idea is data that was recently released by TechRepublic. A study called "Research: What Leaders Say About Cloud Capabilities and Limitations" showed that 91 percent of companies said they were overwhelmingly satisfied with their investments, as highlighted by ZDNet.

    IWMS in cloud-based applications holds great potential for facilities managers because the platforms enable them to access information in real-time to guide decisions that demand their immediate needs and help them plan for the future.

    over 100 tips on how to innovate in FM

    Elizabeth Dukes

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Elizabeth Dukes

    Elizabeth Dukes' pieces highlight the valuable role of the real estate and facility managers play in their organizations. Prior to iOFFICE, Elizabeth was in sales for large facility and office service outsourcing firm.

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