The practical benefits of a Cloud CAFM solution and the disadvantages
The first part of the article deals with the cloud at itself. In doing so, I explain the differences between Cloud CAFM systems and traditional FM software solutions which must be installed locally. The second part explores the practical benefits of the Cloud CAFM. With a clear conclusion!
Practical use in daily operation
When configuring the roll-out of a Cloud CAFM solution, the future user will already encounter the first advantages compared to a classic server-client application. There is no monetary and resource planning necessary of hosting (for server and backup). It must be assumed that all users who are considered with the cloud solution should have a PC or a mobile device with Internet access. This also enables a freely scalable project start on the desired or actually possible depth of detail. Taking into account the workload of the participating employees, this is a significant advantage, as many CAFM projects also fail due to the overly ambitious and comprehensive planning of the transfer of activities into the software ( which also undermines the acceptance of the users). In case of doubt, these will always decide very fast to keep the previous procedure, as long as the implementation should lead to a high temporal burden in this regard (which, at least subjectively, is likely to be the case for many involved).
Further technical advantages in implementing the Software as a Service CAFM are the elimination of the software being loaded on the individual end devices, the omission of a technical application management on the user side as well as the location-independent use of the web software. In particular, the last point is a significant time and cost advantage for all companies that want to roll out the software at more than one location within the organizational network at the same time.
Depending on the licensing model, considerable cost savings can be realized (compared to purchase solutions) in the life cycle of the CAFM software (approximately 10 to 15 years). The exact amount depends on the provider or the respective license pricing model. In any case, at the start of the project there are no investments as with comparable purchase solutions, which always has an advantageous effect on the liquidity of the software customer.
Further advantages of a Cloud CAFM
In the operative use of a Cloud CAFM, the option of being able to adjust the system at any time during process operation is particularly impressive. It also offers the policy of small steps. Larger changes such as after a release of a server-client solution often overwhelm the users and require a lot of explanation (including costly trainings). With regular and small-scale process adjustments (with active involvement of users / users), the CAFM solution grows as the learning progress in the organization allows. Due to the fast adaptability, "lessons learned" according to the motto "trial and error" are also possible. If the project manager CAFM succeeds in convincing the users of the advantages (transparency, better detailed knowledge of technical assets, processes and any associated costs) of using the software, sustainable use of the same is more or less a matter of course. Another advantage of the consecutive adaptation are smaller project budgets, which, when viewed cumulatively, lead faster to success in the digitization of the FM organization. Due to the pure use of various web browsers, the SaaS CAFM solution, taking into account the use of total resources, provides an excellent alternative to the cost-intensive in-house solution, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises.
Disadvantages of the cloud CAFM solution
Depending on the license model, the financial solution for a cloud solution is to clarify to what extent the costs for this can be set in the balance sheet. Furthermore, every project manager of a Cloud CAFM solution will have to deal intensively with the topic of data protection. Reputable and professional cloud CAFM providers ensure their customers the latest level of data security (with often far more professional hosting options than they would internally technically and commercially possible) including certified processes (GEFMA, ISAE, etc.). The argument of dependence on the software service provider is certainly to be considered at least in the comparison with the classical purchase solution provider. However, my practical experience can point to the fact that at the end of the day it always depends on the relationship between client and contractor, which would thus be neutralized in this regard.
From my point of view, as described in detail above, it can be said that the Cloud CAFM solution brings with it a wealth of advantages. Cumulatively, these advantages more than offset a few drawbacks to the conventional solution. This experience feeds on the one hand by years of professional activity as a Cloud CAFM Consultant, but also over several years of leadership experience as Head of Facility Management in different companies.
From the latter perspective, the operational day-to-day business is particularly captivating due to its high degree of flexibility in use, the rapid adaptability of the system, and the cost-saving advantages of a freely scalable roll-out. Taking into account the ongoing global digitalization of many business processes, this gives me the compulsory recommendation for all (new) customers to take a closer look at the cloud solution providers in the facility management market. Incidentally, this also applies to all existing customers of classic systems who, for whatever reason, are faced with a new acquisition.
If necessary, I am also available for inquiries and assistance in this regard. Feel free to get in contact with me any time.