If your business has ever needed a fresh IT strategy for real estate or facility management, you’ll know that finding the right, future-proof software solution is no easy feat. For one, there’s an abundance of options to choose from, which can make decision-making difficult to say the least. Many of our customers have faced this same challenge and their first question tends to be, ‘There are so many suppliers to choose from, where do I start?’
In this situation, most organizations will either deploy one single integrated solution, such as Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS), or they’ll opt for a combination of point solutions, otherwise known as a “best-of-breed strategy”. But what option is the best for your business; why would you choose one and not the other? In this blog, I’ll explain what makes integrated solutions more favorable than a combination of point solutions, and how Planon can help you to implement the right solution for you.
What’s an integrated solution or IWMS?
In 2004, tech analyst house Gartner, coined the phrase, “Integrated Workplace Management System” as a means to describe an enterprise-class platform that could manage several functional areas at once.
The advancement of high-speed data connectivity in recent years has made such platforms more vital than ever. Operated from a single technology platform or data repository, IWMS integrates key components across various domains, especially within real estate, facility, workplace, and sustainability management. In these sectors, IWMS can support in optimizing building operations, capital project management, workspace management, energy management and resource management to name a few.
However, there are important implementation steps that should be followed for all integrated solutions. Finding the right one is a matter of analyzing a company’s data needs, user interface, and possible consolidation of other applications and translate this all towards a profitable business case. In the end, implementing an IWMS is not a cost item in the balance sheet, it is an investment with a strong ROI.
How does a point solution compare?
Point solutions are usually designed to just solve one specific business problem. Since they are built to focus on one particular area of functionality, they only cover a limited number of domains. Point solutions are therefore more niche, such as room-booking software, helpdesk software or maintenance planning software. As such, each of these solutions require tailor-made interfaces, as well as required maintenance and knowledge of different tools, resulting in a much higher TCO, and lower adoption from end-users.
Integrated solutions, on the other hand, support automatic connections between multiple processes and facilitates reporting across various domains. The implementation of an integrated solution is, therefore, much wider when compared to a point solution, and is able to avoid complex data exchanges between processes.
Why choose an integrated solution over a point solution?
While point solutions allow businesses to specifically manage (parts of) individual domains, this type of software only solves one business problem at a time. To solve multiple problems, multiple point solutions must be implemented, with common data shared between each solution. This often becomes unnecessarily complex and leads to inconsistencies across an organization.
However, an integrated solution is a more comprehensive tool that’s more efficient in cutting costs, increasing operational efficiency, and providing better visibility across the organization due to sharing data in one platform. In doing so, it allows its users – whether that’s managers, employees, building occupants, or contractors – to be part of a single work community all under one unified platform, allowing them to collaborate with tools to reach one another at any time. These different processes can work independently, with the software (due to authorization) only showing information that’s relevant for each department. However, they’ll unite as a whole since they’re sharing the same platform and datasets.
The above has become especially important in recent years, where hybrid working models have proven more popular and employee experience is at the top of the agenda for many companies. Take, for example, how IWMS solutions can help in facilities maintenance – keeping building occupants comfortable and safe. It can more easily maintain databases of crucial information like maintenance requests, inventory, vendors, warranties, work orders and associated costs. Preventative maintenance can also be analyzed and applied to lower or prevent future costs. With integrated solutions, occupants can submit requests through a self-service portal where facilities maintainers then prioritize requests.
And since IoT systems are being integrated into IWMS platforms more and more, organizations can use such software to improve their processes and decision making with real-time information about energy use, space occupancy, or operating conditions of facilities and associated assets. This all positively contributes to your organization’s sustainability goals.
To summarize, the main benefits for a business employing an integrated solution over a point solution are:
- One data repository, acting as the single source of truth.
- A centrally managed, less complex, and less costly IT landscape.
- More simplified and easier-to-use interfaces.
- Easier reporting based on a centrally shared database.
- Scalability. As your business grows, so can your integrated solution.
- Better visibility across the entire organization while different processes work independently under one uniform platform.
- Fewer software contracts.
Why choose Planon to implement your integrated solution?
Today, an IWMS must be able to integrate new tech and the potential it has in an easy, consistent and flexible way. Planon's Integrated Workplace Management Solution is an innovative, IoT-enabled platform that creates greater efficiency and quality in processes. It measurably reduces corresponding costs and successfully contributes to the organization's performance.
When integrating our IWMS solution, we can speak with the different departments of your organization to truly understand your needs and requirements, thereby generating a clear understanding of the bigger picture to help you create a profitable business case. We do this by understanding what our customers really need; the functionality scope, the budget, the timeline and how stakeholders and decision-makers could be impacted by your choices.
When you provide us with real-life scenarios of your pain points, we’ll also be able to demonstrate how our software can support you in solving your needs, showing you exactly how it would work and the benefits it would bring.
Want to learn more about how we can help your business with our IWMS solution? Head over to planonsoftware.com/us/software/iwms to get started.