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August 06, 2015

Five signs that say it’s time to upgrade your software

“What is the oldest piece of software you still use?” is a question a tech blog recently asked its readers. The answers included WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS (the same software that I used over 20 years ago at University!), a 32-bit contact management program from 1999 and “Windows XP.”

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It is true that some users like to stick to older versions of the software they have become familiar with. Today, new software features are brought to market quicker than ever before. Due to the rise of cloud computing and mobility, business software development cycles have shortened significantly over the past decade. It is no understatement to say that software expires quickly and clinging to older versions of software can potentially cost your organization both financially and through inefficient operations. However, many facility and real estate managers still struggle with justifying spending money on new software.

How do you know if your current facilities management software is outdated? Here are 5 signs:

1. No mobile apps?
The majority of end-users are working on smart phones and tablets in the office on a daily basis. They expect their IWMS vendor to offer the same functionality on their mobile devices as they have on their desktop. Mobile maintenance management software enables engineers to become more effective in their on-site work. It gives them real-time access to work orders and the specific asset details. If your current system isn’t ready for mobile, then you might want to consider a replacement.

2. A lack of integration?
IWMS has made a lot of progress in integration. Half a decade ago the facility management team would have their own system, and so would the real estate team. And in some organizations the space management team would have a third system. Sustainability systems were in their infancy and the service desk was often still working exclusively by phone. We have seen the major benefits of bringing these systems together in one suite, including increased efficiency and reduced FM costs.

3. An out-of-date database?
When your database is running on systems that are no longer supported, (such as Access or an old version of Windows), it is time to reconsider your current software. Furthermore older databases tend to not support mobile working…

4. Complicated (or no) Dashboards?
Both IWMS users and the C-suite are faced with an information overload every day. Market leading systems are increasingly turning to easy-to-read dashboards that offer a quick overview of the key information. Investing in a new solution will save a lot of management time and frustration.

5. Compliance issues?
Engineers need to be constantly aware and up-to-date on health and safety requirements and legislative maintenance schedules on critical assets. Modern facilities management software enables engineers to read risk assessments and confirm they have done so, which in-turn mitigates the company’s exposure to risk. Modern IWMS systems also enable critical compliance issues to be flagged, again, ensuring statutory compliance.

If you have your own warning signs that your software is out of date, please let us know.

Tim Clapham
Former Business Development Director Planon United Kingdom