What is a Smart IWMS and What are its Features?
By Dave Clifton
Content Strategy Specialist
Today’s commercial building technologies are smart. They’re not just smart in the sense of automation—they’re intelligent enough to learn, adapt, and get better at the tasks they do. From IoT sensors to software that compiles and dissects data, our ability to harness smart technologies is the key to better business operations. It’s why so many companies are turning to centralized smart IWMS software for facilities management.
With so much data and so many processes, it’s difficult for any one person to manage facilities without digital assistance. A “smart” IWMS acts as a foundation: an intelligent system that learns, manages, and optimizes the essential tasks that keep facilities running. From a growing IoT network to the data it provides, smart IWMS is what unlocks the many capabilities of digital office infrastructure.
What is a smart IWMS?
IWMS stands for Integrated Workplace Management System. As the name implies, an IWMS acts as a centralized platform for managing the various tasks involved in workplace operations. Some of these functions include:
- Lease management
- Move management
- Stack planning
- Project management
- Space management
- Maintenance management
A smart IWMS not only offers these features and capabilities, it also supports next-gen technologies like AI, machine learning, and cross-platform data integration. In short, a smart IWMS not only enables workplace management, it continually optimizes and improves it.
Beyond its ability to help workplace managers do their job better, a smart IWMS will help them do less of it—or sometimes no work at all! We’re talking, of course, about automation capabilities. Smart platforms offer automation at every level—from aggregating IoT resources to workplace report generation. It’s a must-have in the age of the smart building.
Common features of smart IWMS software
Now that we know what smart IWMS software does, let’s look at how it earns its “smart” designation. There’s automation and AI powering these programs, but it’s the features that make an IWMS useful:
- Building information modeling (BIM): Fully immersive, layered floor plans of facilities. Layers include workplace layout, utilities mapping, clearance mapping for access control, IT infrastructure, and other relevant facilities information. Smart IWMS platforms help facilities managers look at facilities through the right lens depending on the task at hand.
- Space utilization reporting: Smart IWMS systems are capable of reporting crucial insights about how employees use space, when, for what lengths of time, and how that impacts the broader workplace. Given the right IoT network and integrated data streams, a smart IWMS can be the catalyst for meaningful changes to the workplace.
- Forecasting and recommendations: A smart IWMS will tell you what to expect from your facilities. The longer it has to learn about them, the better the insights will be. it might tell you that third-floor hotel desks see fewer occupants than fifth floor desks, and even recommend reallocating that space for breakout groups due to demand for that type of space. In essence, a smart IWMS may do part of your job for you.
These are just a few of the smart capabilities of a modern IWMS. These smart features layer over the many other capabilities of traditional software to offer even more utility.
How businesses benefit from smart IWMS
The purpose of an integrated workplace management system always has been and always will be to assist facilities managers in maximizing the utility and ROI of the workplace. IWMS software helps them meet employee needs and expectations, while maximizing the ROI on company overhead (facilities). To do this takes powerful software.
As buildings become smarter, so must your IWMS so it can assist facilities managers to the fullest. More data demands better systems to catalog and analyze it. More digital integrations require smarter frameworks to tie them all together. Even the dynamic nature of flex work and agile workplaces facilitates the need for software that can keep up.
Smart IWMS operates in real-time, at the speed of the evolving workplace. Because of this, businesses can rely on it for better insights and actions that manifest in better workplace management. Whether that’s bottom-line cost savings, preemptive solutions for emerging problems, or the many rippling benefits of a well-run workplace, it all starts with a smart IWMS.
Use insights to drive innovation
Every element of our increasingly digital workplaces has data to share. A smart IWMS is the platform that not only collects this data, but puts it to work. Whether it’s detailed reports about support tickets or suggestions for how to maximize space utilization, a smart IWMS is a necessity in offices that rely on data-driven insights for smarter decision-making.
Every data capture through a smart IWMS becomes part of the office’s greater schema of data. The “smart” part of this system happens over time, as it learns, adapts, and helps us run our facilities better. Smart IWMS grows as the business does, scaling right alongside it. Often, it’s the driver for that growth.