IT Facility Management Tools for Efficient Workplaces
By Dana Sher
Head of Product
Good IT facility management is a cornerstone of a well-functioning workplace. Having the right technologies, overseeing them appropriately, and leveraging the benefits they provide is a critical part of workplace optimization.
Many workplaces use powerful technologies, but may not be managing them as well. For example, that smart thermostat has sensors to control HVAC but they aren’t programmed or monitored. What value are those sensors adding? The same goes for virtually every technology used for facilities management.
The right approach to IT facilities management is recognizing where technology can improve productivity and ensure said technologies are managed accordingly. That’s a facilities manager’s job.
Understand the many integrations of IT facility management
Utilizing supportive technologies to better manage your workplace is the key to unlocking value within it. Smart IT facility management starts with understanding the various systems that can be integrated into your workplace.
- Occupancy sensors monitor when a space is in use. Used in coordination with room booking software, these sensors help prevent overlap and miscommunication.
- Communication apps like Slack and Messenger allow communication to flourish when used consistently. This requires creation and management of channels and topics where employees obtain vital workplace updates and information.
- Cloud computing is central in modern workplaces. Like communication apps, these technologies should be configured and shared by a centralized manager.
- Smart lighting, such as motion-sensitive lighting, timed, and remotely-controlled systems, require both physical setup and digital programming. As a smart technology, these installations are part of the greater workplace IT.
- VoIP phones, networked devices, and connected workstations are all key parts of the office IT infrastructure. Assigning, managing, and delegating these technologies to workers falls in the lap of facilities managers—especially in flexible offices with hot desking or agile workspaces.
- Digital wayfinding software and physical installations are critical technologies for larger workplaces. Ensuring they’re updated, working, and ready to use requires centralized management that leverages relevant data.
The scope of workplace tech is constantly expanding to include new sensors, beacons, apps, and automations. The modern workplace is a menagerie of physical and digital technologies. Taking stock of the tech present in your workplace is the best way to make sure it’s properly managed.
Use a CMMS or CAFM platform
Trying to keep track of various facilities technologies grows harder with scale. For growing businesses or companies building out their office Internet of Things (IoT), the need for centralization is critical.
This is where a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) or Computer-Assisted Facility Management (CAFM) come in handy (read what is CAFM). Not only do these systems corral various workplace technologies, they offer a robust range of management options. Some of the hallmarks of a good CMMS or CAFM platform include:
- Asset management and oversight
- Preventive maintenance tracking and scheduling
- Work order and ticketing requests
- Maintenance logs and histories
- Cost tracking for IT and facilities
- Data capture and aggregation
CMMS and CAFM platforms act as hubs for IT facilities management. They’re the central point of integration, oversight, action, and improvement.
Optimize your integrations
Once you have a firm grasp on the scope of your facilities’ IT and a central platform through which to manage it, the focus turns to optimization.
How can you make communication apps more user-friendly? What can you learn from maintenance support tickets? What’s missing from your cloud collaboration? How can you improve your workplace’s various connected workstations? The answer: Consistently take stock of technologies and ask how they’re benefitting your day-to-day operations.
Thanks to many modern integrations, data is readily available. You can get call stats from VoIP phones, activation trends from automated lights, and robust data from communication apps. This data isn’t just a convenience—it’s a tool. It can and should be put to work to optimize your workplace:
- How can you lower costs?
- Where are you paying for inefficiencies?
- How can you improve efficiency?
- What can you do to maximize productivity?
With IT facilities management central to these variables, having a comprehensive management plan will unlock a broad range of benefits. Remember, simply having the tech isn’t enough; you need to utilize it to its fullest potential. To do that takes an understanding of all tech present in your workplace, a centralized management platform, and a facilities manager who can ensure everything is optimized for top results.
Be sure to check out our next article on how to select the best facility management software for your company.