The integrated workplace management system (IWMS) has been an integral platform for nearly two decades, enabling facilities managers and other leaders to connect many disparate software systems.
An IWMS combines essential data into a single software platform, empowering leaders to make more informed decisions about their workplace and real estate portfolio. They can manage their space, gain a deeper understanding of their real estate portfolio and take a proactive approach to preventive maintenance. They can also view energy management metrics, keep track of capital projects and store digital records of all their assets.
While these functions are still critical, today’s workplace leaders are looking for more from their IWMS. Here’s a closer look at what they will expect in 2020 and beyond.
IWMS Core Functions
The IWMS developed as a way to simplify workplace management and control costs.
Historically, IWMS software has consisted of five core pillars:
- Space management and facility management
- Real estate management and lease management
- Maintenance management
- Capital project management
- Sustainability and energy management
However, time has proven that these five pillars are not equal in terms of importance.
Space management lays the foundation for everything in the workplace and, therefore, all other functions within an IWMS. Corporate real estate leaders need to first know how much space they have and how it is performing before they lease,
buy, build, renovate or sell buildings. They need to fully understand what types of buildings and spaces they have to properly maintain them and reduce their carbon footprint.
Yet most IWMS solutions on the market today were not built on this foundation. Instead, each pillar competed for attention and development dollars from the software vendors that created IWMS solutions. As a result, most traditional IWMS software evolved to become overly complex, expensive and difficult to maintain.
What Leaders Want In An IWMS In 2020
Workplace leaders still need digital access to their floor plans to connect other key functions, including asset management, maintenance management, move management and more. However, as organizations have become more geographically dispersed, employees need workplaces that offer greater flexibility, mobility and connectivity.
They are just as likely to be working remotely as they are to be located in a physical office. They need to be able to easily find colleagues, reserve rooms and access resources that allow them to be productive. As the workplace has evolved, so have leaders’ expectations of the modern IWMS. More specifically, they are looking for an IWMS that meets the following criteria:
IWMS software has traditionally been built on-premise, requiring significant IT investments and extensive maintenance.
In the 2018 Verdantix Report, The Business Case for Integrated Workplace Management Systems, vendor data showed the cost of IWMS software can range from $50,000 to $800,000 annually. By contrast, software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions are significantly less expensive to implement, manage and maintain. Cloud-based software eliminates many of the large, upfront capital costs involved in deploying and updating it. It’s also much easier to integrate SaaS solutions with other technologies, which is essential to staying agile.
2. Exceptional User Interface
While the IWMS was traditionally built for workplace leaders, today, it’s just as likely to be used by employees. Employees need to be able to quickly find colleagues, reserve rooms, request service and receive mail or visitors. And they expect the technology they use in the workplace to be just as user-friendly as the mobile apps they use at home.
It’s hardly surprising, then, that in a recent survey by Verdantix, 80% of executives considering IWMS software said the quality of the user interface was the most important factor influencing their decision.
The next evolution of the IWMS is mobile and intuitive, allowing employees to access the people, places and resources they need instantly.
3. Ability To Integrate With Other Workplace Solutions
As the digital workplace evolves, so has the technology that powers it. Today’s leaders are using Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to gain real-time space utilization data and deploy more efficient facility maintenance, for instance. They need an IWMS that integrates seamlessly with IoT sensors and other emerging workplace technologies, such as artificial intelligence.
The best IWMS platforms have an open API that allows them to easily support a wide range of marketplace solutions.
4. Powerful Reporting Capabilites
Today’s workplace leaders are expected to show measurable cost savings and improvements in everything from space utilization to employee engagement.
They need to be able to view critical workplace data from various sources instantly, through a single platform.
They need software solutions with robust reporting capabilities and one where data is presented in easy-to-understand dashboards.
The Future of IWMS
The opportunities to reduce costs, improve employee engagement and productivity and improve business processes using technology are endless. Greater automation, predictive analytics and new ways of collecting data from IoT will continue to transform the way we work.
As the workplace evolves, leaders will continue to expect more from their IWMS. They want a software platform that is cloud-based and easy for anyone to use with minimal training. They also need that solution to easily integrate with other apps and technology that may not even exist yet.
iOFFICE has introduced the next generation of IWMS—a flexible, scalable platform with infinite potential.
It’s built to fit the needs of the modern digital workplace and expand as your organization grows. We’re calling it the integrated experience management system (iXMS) because it’s built with the workplace experience at the center. It’s 100% cloud-based and designed to integrate with virtually any other technology, allowing workplace leaders to continually innovate while maintaining a single, simple platform.
To learn more about how it prepares your workplace for the continual next, request a free consultation today.