An Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) is software that helps large organizations manage their real estate and equipment portfolios; the software may be deployed either on-premises, in which it’s physically installed on servers at the location where it’s used, or via the Software-as-a-Service approach, often shortened to SaaS, in which the software is hosted by a third party in the cloud.
If your IWMS is available via SaaS, this is an excellent choice. When you’re managing millions of square feet—not to mention all the assets that go along with that space—you have plenty to keep you occupied without adding tech management and support to your list. Even if software system deployment and management are core capabilities of your organization, the purpose of an IWMS is to help you become more efficient—not to add to your headcount and data center inventory. While there’s nothing wrong with having your IWMS hosted on-premises, those with the option of an IWMS available via SaaS should take it.
Even if budget is the first, second and last consideration in your decision, SaaS is still likely to be the better choice. While the ongoing subscription fees for an IWMS available via SaaS could seem like a drawback at first glance, bear in mind that the internal IT charges for maintaining and upgrading an on-premises IWMS could reach thousands of dollars per month. Let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of each method.
IWMS Via the SaaS Approach
When your IWMS is provided through the SaaS approach, you get the utility of the software without the responsibilities or cost of operating, maintaining and upgrading the underlying technology. You’ll only pay for the services you use.
- Faster deployment
- Faster recovery from disaster or other business interruption
- No IT infrastructure to maintain, upgrade or be charged for
- Because an SaaS is typically licensed from year to year, it may be shifted on the books from a capital expense to an operating expense
- Top-notch software delivered at a reduced cost
- Data secured at primary and secondary centers
- Can be more expensive than the on-premises approach, depending on use
- Some organizations require all IT to be handled in-house
IWMS Via the On-Premises Approach
If you already have the staff and infrastructure in place for an on-premises IWMS deployment, it might be cheaper and easier to continue on that path instead of making the shift to SaaS. However, if you’re targeting aggressive growth, scaling up from your existing on-premises IWMS could be a challenge.
- Full control over all data in your system
- Can be cheaper than SaaS in the long run
- If you already have great in-house IT infrastructure and skills, you might not need SaaS
- Reliability of system up to you
- Scaling dependent on your resources
- You may pay for unused assets in down times
- Capital expense can be more difficult to justify in some organizations
Scalability, security, implementation, support, upgrades and maintenance are all key factors as well. The goal for your IT architecture is to not just make it work for your present business demands, but for it to continually improve alongside your organization’s growth and development.
IWMS SaaS and On-Premises Side-by-Side Comparison
|Implementation||Usually fastest; personalization and customization are the x factors.||If your people and IT infrastructure are first-rate, you could have a flawless, speedy deployment. Results vary depending on your organization’s skills and resources.|
|Security||Included with service. Data handled only by trusted, reliable partners||You’ll need to handle this with extra services or software. If your IT team’s knowledge is current, you should be able to put proper security into place quickly.|
|Support, Upgrade, and Maintenance||Not your problem. Upgrades, support and maintenance are included in the “service” part of SaaS.||Be prepared to remember a new set of version numbers, to know when something needs an upgrade or maintenance, and to staff sufficiently for the new system.|
|Scalability||SaaS scales well. That’s especially important for growing companies, but it’s also useful when business ebbs and flows in an unpredictable manner.||If you grow, you’ll need more infrastructure and support. If business dips, you may have some gear sit unused.|
Getting Started with an IWMS
eCIFM specializes in getting the IBM TRIRIGA® IWMS up and running for some of the world’s leading organizations. Our SaaS offering includes licensing, support and maintenance. Upgrades and new features are automatically made available without causing disruption to service. We can also get an on-premises deployment set up to your specifications. To learn more about our services, or to get a better idea of what TRIRIGA can do for your organization, contact us or schedule a demo.