There are many hot topics in the facilities management (FM) industry such as efficiency, sustainability, and cost reduction just to name a few. However, the topic of FM software is quickly climbing to the top of the list. Many FM professionals acknowledge the value of utilizing FM software but are left feeling confused by the vast array of options on the market today. In particular, one must compare the following software options: cloud-based, web-based, and on-premise installations.
What's the difference between cloud-based, web-based, and on-premise installations?
Cloud-based software applications generally offer reliable hosting via multiple servers in various geographic locations, which enhances security and scalability.
Web-based software applications are accessed via a web browser (can include both cloud-based and on-premise installations).
On-premise software applications are hosted on local servers in a company's office (can include both desktop and web-based applications).
What are the benefits of cloud-based FM software?
1) Secure hosting and enhanced scalability.
Cloud-based software applications take advantage of hosting via multiple servers, often in various geographic locations. This approach improves the security and scalability of the software compared to web-based and on-premise solutions.
Mitch Galehouse, Senior Developer and Founder, shared this insight about FMX, "Our application is cloud based because it is hosted on Windows Azure infrastructure. This platform makes it easier for us to provide redundancy when hardware fails, scale out quickly in response to increased usage, and provide physical protections for customer data."
2) Easier access.
Not all employees are on site or in the office all of the time. They may be out in the field, on the road, or simply too busy to log into the FM system during regular working hours.
Software that is web based and can be accessed from any computer, tablet or smart phone saves both time and money. Members of the maintenance staff do not have to return to the office to get the next assignment. Employees do not have to interrupt their regular activities to check the status of their requests. And managers can get a bird’s eye view of all activities, in progress, scheduled, or completed, across multiple facilities, no matter where they are or what device they’re using.
3) Automatic system updates.
Unlike on-premise applications, cloud-based software updates are made available to users automatically with no installations required. This results in a more seamless experience for users and reduces the work for the local IT department. At FMX, we provide articles and videos in our Support Center and notifications within the software application to keep users informed of the most recent enhancements.
In a recent blog post, Brian Gregory, President and Founder, discussed the benefits of the agile development process at FMX, "Here at FMX, our development process is iterative and lean, and what this means is that we can get changes out very quickly with minimal bugs. In fact, over the past year we’ve released over ninety updates, that averages out to one every four days."
Ready to learn more about selecting the right FM software? Check out our Facilities Management Software Buyer's Guide!