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An IWMS is an integrated workplace management system, which is a software platform used across an organization—including within maintenance, IT, and HR departments—to manage all aspects of a company’s facilities, equipment, and space usage.
Having a dynamic IWMS is important. It helps you optimize your employees’ office space and work experience, monitor your real estate portfolio, maintain the assets and equipment in your buildings, and much more. IWMS software reaches across most parts of an organization and touches nearly every business area.
According to Verdantix, workplace management systems integration began in the 1970s as organizations started adopting solutions for managing floorplans and space processes. It took off in the 1990s with the rise of computer-aided facility management and integrated workplace platforms, which required consultants to develop and maintain the code. In 2004, Michael Bell produced the first IWMS report from Gartner, noting a “clear transition from point solutions to enterprise suites characterizes the predominant trend in the market.”
The technology continues to evolve. According to MarketWatch, key drivers of IWMS market growth include an increase in interest of real estate workflow automation solutions, along with an increase in emphasis on energy management by governments.
In addition, innovations like IoT and AI continue to provide huge growth opportunities.
So, what are some of the specific reasons you’d want to adopt an IWMS?
IWMS software helps you track, maintain, and enhance your workplace resources. Even if you’re already using computer-aided facility management (CAFM)—or if you’re still using spreadsheets and separate systems to monitor space usage, maintenance costs, and energy consumption—it is much harder to get a holistic view of how it is all performing. You’re potentially missing out on key insights into your workplace, which makes it more difficult to make data-driven decisions.
According to recent research by Mind Commerce, IWMS platforms have been found to provide the following benefits to a typical organization:
By having all your asset and facilities information in one cloud-based system, you can create dynamic workspaces and make better, more informed decisions about your buildings and equipment.
In addition, today’s workplaces are rapidly evolving, and factors like the COVID-19 pandemic and new environmental regulations and concerns mean that employers need to be more flexible than ever.
According to one study by Verdantix, total expenditure on software solutions across areas like real estate, maintenance, space management, and energy management “will total $6.4 billion in 2021, up 6% from 2020.” Mind Commerce’s report shows that globally, the IWMS market will reach up to $11.2 billion by 2026.
Gartner currently defines an IWMS as covering five core components:
The following sections will explain key benefits and outline each of the five components listed above—including why they’re important, and what to look for when choosing an IWMS software solution.
Let’s start with facilities and maintenance management.
An IWMS helps you streamline your facilities and maintenance workflows and activities. These include:
When data for all your assets is in one place, you can more easily see short- and long-term trends. And with the right mobile-friendly, cloud-based IWMS software, your technicians can access equipment information right from the palm of their hands.
Learn more about facilities management, and see industry trends and best practices.
According to a 2020 Gartner survey, an organization’s work environment has a significant effect on employee engagement, yet only 13% of workers say they’re totally satisfied with their workspaces.
That’s where an IWMS comes in. When you optimize and enhance your workspaces, you can boost employee morale (and, in turn, their productivity).
IWMS space management capabilities can include:
Effective IWMS solutions enable you to visualize your offices and facilities using interactive floorplans, making it easier to plan office moves and optimize your spaces.
Learn how Nuvolo can help you streamline your space management processes.
In addition, space reservation capabilities are becoming increasingly important. According to CBRE, 73% of companies anticipate supporting hybrid (remote and in-office) work in the future. By enabling employees to book desks and other working spaces ahead of time, you can ensure they’ll have the space they need when they come into the office.
Corporate real estate professionals can use IWMS software to track items such as leases, contracts, dates, and disclosures. As the real estate landscape continues to shift in a post-pandemic world, it is critical that you have access to data about how all your properties are used.
If you’re tracking this information across multiple spreadsheets, it is much harder to get a holistic view of your properties. An IWMS can help you consolidate, visualize, and report out on it all, enabling you to make the right long-term planning and investment decisions.
Learn about corporate real estate and lease management with Nuvolo.
Capital project management includes tasks such as:
When you choose a software platform that connects to the same system you use for your other business processes, you can monitor critical details and dates all from one environment.
This means you spend less time manually inputting and tracking specifics like financial expenditures, cash flow analyses, and vendor contracts, and more time focusing on the bigger picture.
An increasing number of corporations are looking to reduce their carbon footprint, increase sustainability efforts, and monitor energy consumption.
According to one recent Verdantix study, over 50% of firms say that reducing energy spending and consumption is a high priority for them over the next 12 months.
However, this is becoming more challenging. The Verdantix study also notes that, as firms push toward a hybrid working schedule, building occupancy levels will fluctuate more. This in turn will put pressure on facilities teams to optimize their heating and cooling equipment to account for these fluctuations and low-occupancy states.
Effective IWMS software helps organizations analyze their consumption patterns and makes it easier to see the spikes and anomalies in your data. This means you can better optimize, forecast, and reduce your energy usage.
Operational technology (OT) cyber security is not included in a traditional IWMS, but it is a part of the Nuvolo Connected Workplace—and it is a major complement to every department. Hackers are increasingly targeting non-IT, network-connected devices like HVAC or pipeline systems, and these cyber attacks can be devastating when an organization is caught off-guard.
The Nuvolo OT Security solution automates your cyber security response and coordinates remediation work across teams to resolve issues quickly.
When you have visibility into all your assets and equipment, you’re armed with actionable data that enables you to keep your devices online.
Learn what OT security is, and see why is it important.
So, which one is right for you?
One of the most important aspects of choosing an IWMS is understanding your business needs and how the software is going to alleviate facility and operational pressures. Some questions to consider are:
When considering the product itself, you should ask:
It’s clear that workplaces are evolving—and the way you manage them should, too. Effective IWMS software helps you manage your facilities, spaces, equipment, business processes, and more.
Nuvolo Connected Workplace not only supports and enhances all the core elements of a traditional IWMS, but it goes far beyond by offering critical OT security capabilities. The Connected Workplace encompasses all the components required for an organization to plan, deliver, and operate the enterprise services offered to their employees and customers.
See how Nuvolo can help you ditch your spreadsheets, get a holistic view of your assets and spaces, and ensure the security of your OT devices.
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