The True Cost Of Legacy IWMS Systems

by Chad Smith on March 18, 2021
The Next Generation of IWMS: iXMS

When it comes to IWMS systems, you might think you’re saving money by maintaining the status quo. But how much is it really costing you?

The answer might surprise you. Of course, there are direct costs of supporting and constantly updating legacy systems. You also need to factor in the opportunity costs you miss when you’re constrained by outdated workplace technology. And when you look at what you could be saving by consolidating multiple systems, having unprecedented access to data to identify savings, and being able to take immediate action, you’ll wonder why it took so long to make a change.

In our experience, the largest organizations often have the most to gain by moving their operations to our next-generation IWMS.

Here’s why.

The direct costs of outdated IWMS systems

Many older IWMS systems are built on-premise, so they require infrastructure and an IT team to maintain. They’re also extremely expensive to update.

In working with hundreds of organizations over the past two decades, we’ve discovered IWMS software updates can cost close to $1 million or more, depending on the size of the company. Those costs include hardware, IT resources, and annual maintenance fees to the software vendor.

Because the costs are so high, it can often take several years to allocate a budget and actually implement the necessary changes. By the time the company has completed the updates, many of them are already obsolete. Organizations that are innovative in every other way find themselves trapped in this frustrating cycle.

Others dedicate thousands of hours to keeping their systems current each year. That takes away from the time their IT team could be spending on more strategic, revenue-generating priorities.

Sound familiar?

The costs of poorly integrated IWMS systems

The power of a truly integrated workplace management system is something many companies take for granted until they realize they don’t have it.

Consider a company like McKesson. The global company was using 58 different technologies from various vendors to manage its facilities and operations. This made it very difficult to gather data for space planning, manage room and desk reservations, and communicate across departments.

Moving to one centralized IWMS system allowed McKesson to establish a single source of truth for workplace data. This enabled the company to implement flexible seating and make smarter decisions about future real estate needs.

While it’s crucial that IWMS systems integrate with applications your workplace already uses, they also need to be flexible enough to connect to emerging technologies.

For instance, many organizations are now using agile seating strategies to manage their hybrid offices. Sensors can provide them with the most accurate data on peak occupancy, average occupancy, and how employees are using the workplace on a daily basis.

When you can see this data directly within your floor plans, you have a complete picture of space utilization.

The costs of inefficient processes

Having real-time data is only valuable if you can act upon it in a timely manner.

If your sensor data shows one particular floor of your building is nearly at its maximum capacity and another has an average occupancy of only 30%, you know it’s time to make some changes. The most logical next step is to move some employees from the crowded first floor onto the less occupied third floor.

For a large organization with thousands of employees and no easy way to manage moves, this seemingly simple solution could be a months-long undertaking.

Within legacy IWMS systems, floor plan data may not be updated regularly. Older systems can also be difficult to use, leading to workarounds. One customer told us that before implementing our move management software, they planned moved by shuffling Post-It notes around on printed floor plans.

Another large organization, Sephora, told us it used to take up to three months to plans moves that impacted hundreds of people at their corporate headquarters.

Now, they can update floor plans, create new seating assignments, and assign move-related tasks in a matter of days.

Eliminating these manual processes frees up the facilities team to focus on more strategic priorities that drive revenue.

The costs of a poor employee experience

Gallup research shows employees who are fully engaged are far more productive and valuable than those who aren’t. Keeping your employees engaged and productive is difficult enough when you see them every day, but in the new distributed workforce, it has become even more challenging.

Providing an exceptional employee experience is key to retaining top performers and winning the war on talent.

Researcher and author Jacob Morgan found companies that invested heavily in the employee experience earned more than four times the average profit and two times the average revenue compared to those that didn’t.

And technology is at least one-third of the employee experience equation, according to Morgan. Because most employees haven’t had access to a physical office environment for some time, tech is an even more significant factor.

Unfortunately, many workplaces that use legacy IWMS systems leave a lot to be desired in this area.

This is especially true as organizations transition to a hybrid workplace and one without assigned seats.

Employees need to be able to find their colleagues fast, reserve desks or rooms near them, and get tech support.

They need to be able to do this anywhere — whether they’re at home planning out their week, between meetings in the office, or on a sales call.

That’s why 59% of corporate real estate leaders said they planned to invest in mobile apps for employees by 2021, according to CBRE research.

An employee experience app gives your workforce more control over their environment, eliminating daily frustrations like searching for an available room or finding help fixing something.

This makes your entire organization more productive.

It also gives you additional insights into how employees are using your space, common service requests, and more so you can optimize the workplace as needed.

The power of an integrated experience management system

Given the significant expenses and limitations associated with on-premise software, many organizations have been making the transition to cloud-based systems in recent years. The pandemic underscored the urgency to adopt more digital, flexible solutions.

It has also prompted business leaders to rethink the employee experience. Unlike  legacy solutions, iOFFICE’s integrated experience management system (iXMS) is 100% cloud-based. That means it’s continuously and automatically updated — unlike on-premise systems that require expensive upgrades.

And unlike traditional systems that focus primarily on managing buildings, our iXMS is designed specifically to address the needs of the workforce.

It combines space management, mobile employee solutions, operations, and data analytics into a single platform, with endless opportunities for integration with other technology.

This helps you eliminate outdated, redundant solutions, achieve greater efficiency, and see a faster return on your investment.

Learn more about how companies are using it to transform their workplace.


Chad Smith

As the VP of Product Strategy, Chad David Smith wears many hats that leverage his 20+ years of experience in the industry. Chad collaborates directly with clients and partners as well as with the iOFFICE client experience, client success, sales, marketing and development teams to create the most innovative and valued solutions for our clients.

Capterra Ratings: ★★★★★ 4.5/5