By Aleks Sheynkman
Director of Engineering
Facilities management software is shifting to a new paradigm: Software-as-a-service (SaaS). Cloud-based facilities management software (SaaS) offers more features, better reliability, lower costs, and more opportunities for customization—allowing businesses to streamline operations like never before. Before making the switch to a cloud-based facility management software platform, take a look at nine advantages of a SaaS workplace management software option like SpaceIQ.
1. Accessible anywhere
The browser-based nature of SaaS facilities management platforms means they’re accessible from virtually anywhere. Because your software exists in the cloud, it’s available whenever you need it. This is particularly useful in two ways:
- For facilities managers who need mobile insights within their office space, such as getting floor plan data about the third floor while orchestrating a move to the sixth floor
- For real estate managers who have a portfolio of properties spanning multiple geographic locations. Being able to get instant occupancy data about offices in Shanghai, New York, and London makes managing global operations more efficient
Logging on anywhere there’s an internet connection puts facilities managers in a position to be more accurate and thorough in their strategies, instead of guessing or relying on outmoded information across spreadsheets or hand-written notes. Real-time insight yields real-time results through better decision-making.
2. Device Agnostic
No more Mac vs. PC or iOS vs. Android debates. It doesn’t matter what operating system your laptop is running or what network you’re on. Cloud-based SaaS facilities management platforms are device agnostic, making them viable on any device regardless of user preference.
Accessing the same information with consistency and ease across every platform unlocks seamless potential for facilities management. Coordinate a desk neighborhood on your desktop computer, respond to collaborative message on your phone, execute the move via a tablet, and review everything at home on your laptop. It doesn’t matter how many devices or operating system are in play, information and accessibility remain consistent. Best of all, you won’t lose any functionality.
3. Cloud-based security
Cloud security is some of the best in the business when it comes to preventing cyberattacks, including those against facility management software. Thanks to SOC 2, critical business data has never been safer. Cloud-based SaaS security that meets SOC 2 standards is important for a number of reasons:
- It creates a multi-layered security blanket. Usernames and passwords must be validated in real-time and through predictive security features, such as IP screening and login habits. Extra precautions can be tacked on to logins to prevent malicious attempts.
- Cloud security is smart enough to recognize hacking attempts and thwart them. The system will detect bots and brute-force attempts to access data, beefing up security to protect vulnerabilities that may expose data.
- Encryption in the cloud is complex. More than just passwords and user data, all data for your business can be encrypted and hashed, so even if a breach does occur there’s no way for data thieves to use your information against you.
Before cloud-based security, a simple username and password in the wrong hands could mean a crippling data loss for businesses, including personal employee information, real estate data, and operational costs/revenue. Now, protection is greater than ever.
4. Tiered permissions and privacy
Facilities managers know better than anyone that information is on a need-to-know basis. Not everyone needs to have access to the same data. Department heads may only require access to floor plans, while financial planners and real estate managers may require robust data about multiple cost centers.
Thanks to a tiered permissions system, cloud-based facilities management software maintains information in structured, protected ways. Admins can restrict access to data based on user groups, while enabling certain permissions for select employees or departments. This not only reduces the risk of information mismanagement, it keeps proprietary data out of the hands of those who don’t need to see it. And, because permissions can be managed centrally, it’s possible for admins to instantly grant and deny access .
5. Always on, always current
Cloud products have the distinct advantage of being “always on.” They’re instantly accessible and always current to the most recent version of the data. It also means updates can be rolled out by the developer and integrated instantly by customers, closing security gaps and improving the user experience in real time.
Always-on programs also have the distinct advantage of being live—meaning data is cached and updated instantly. You can make changes and not worry about saving every few seconds—or worse, losing your hard work due to an unexpected outage. What’s done is done: Updated instantly and saved proactively—all on the most up-to-date version of the program.
6. Unlocked collaboration
Device agnosticism and the always-on nature of SaaS facilities management software combine to unlock another major benefit: real-time collaboration. A real estate manager in Los Angeles can provide reports and insights to a CFO in Hong Kong, allowing the two to make collaborative decisions about how to best utilize facilities. Moreover, a dozen department heads in the same building can collaborate on an upcoming office move, ensuring everyone is on the same page throughout the process.
Collaboration through the cloud allows more than just real-time updates on specific topics. It also keeps ideas and actions sorted and organized. Each user is uniquely identified so comments, actions, and contributions are properly delineated. Coupled with tiered permissions, it’s easy to keep communication organized, simplified, and clear.
7. Huge cost savings
What’s the cost of your current legacy facilities management software? When you tally up the licensing fee, individual user fees, software update costs, technical support fees, and hidden charges, the compounding costs can be substantial.
The reason the SaaS model has grown prolifically in recent years is because it’s much more cost-effective. The fees may be monthly or annual, but they’re profoundly less and much more inclusive. There’s unparalleled convenience in a SaaS model that’s well worth the nominal cost of licensing the software.
Even beyond the sticker price of software, huge cost savings can also be generated through the power of a cloud-based facilities management program. Better tools and more robust insights add up to better overall facilities management, lowering tangible costs across the balance sheet. Every saved cost identified through your facilities management software is another dollar in ROI.
8. Disaster-proof failsafes
What happens if your server crashes or there’s a massive power outage? Whatever you were just doing on your computer is likely gone for good, unless it’s backed up in real time to the cloud. That’s another benefit of cloud-based facilities management software. When technical issues make your network unavailable or put your computer at risk for data loss, your critical facilities data are backed up and available in the cloud for you to access on another device.
9. Supreme integration
Having access to an open Application Programming Interface (API) enables businesses to tailor the way a program works specifically to their company. This opens the door for a variety of integrations, taking the functionality of the core program up a notch. In the age of the smart office and the office Internet of Things (IoT), integration is essential. Through APIs, facilities managers can use cloud-based management software for everything from meeting room scheduling to oversight for office automations within their IoT environment.
As business becomes more tech-driven, opportunities for optimization will continue to rise. Having a cloud-based facilities management program at the root of business operations will ensure you’re equipped to not only evolve with the times, but thrive and increase productivity in an agile, unpredictable environment. Once you’ve taken the time to understand the benefits of utilizing a cloud based facility management system outlined here, it’s time to learn how to select the right facilities management software that will benefit you, your staff and your business.