Eventually, all maintenance software will be cloud-based so that’s where your long-term vision should be. However, the timing of moving to that space may depend on your particular facility and its current needs and situation.
According to Gartner, by 2020, half of all enterprise asset management solutions will be in the cloud. In recent years, smaller businesses have offered cloud-based maintenance solutions while larger providers have been slow to adapt. That has resulted in a somewhat incomplete solution for some facilities out there, which should be taken in to account when you’re making the decision.
Here are several considerations:
Evaluate New Choices Entering Market
Several vendors have already been offering cloud-based maintenance software for several years, and they may have more established solutions and support services. However, the solutions may be tailored for a particular market segment. If you happen to fit in the market segment of some of these established solutions, it may be a good time to make the switch.
As more competitors enter the market, you’ll have more choices, but you’ll want to be sure that newer businesses have the capabilities as well as the support structure that your company will require. This may vary depending on whether you’re looking at a new solution from a giant like IBM or a new solution from a start-up.
If your facility is in need of upgrading from an existing maintenance software system, be sure to consider the cloud options.
Look for Background Stability
You may be tempted to invest in a cloud-based solution offered by a stable, large provider, but take a look at the actual product offering. Just because a large provider has an excellent on-premise solution doesn’t mean its cloud solution will be as strong, at least in the short-term.
In addition, you can see if smaller providers have established partnerships with infrastructure-as-a-service organizations. These IaaS providers offer a more stable storage, network, and computing backbone, which can give a smaller provider a solid foundation to build from.
Consider Customization Needs
The final step in determining which cloud-based system may meet your needs involves evaluating five key factors: cost, integration requirements, customization requirements, support offerings, and complexity of your business. You’ll want to carefully match your needs with the offerings of the providers in the running, and be sure your cloud-based solution can deliver on these fronts.