companies make more strategic decisions about iwms investments with a better understanding of annual costs | jllt
By Kevin Zimmer

3 questions that reveal the true cost of ownership for IWMS

It’s risky to let short-term fixes for an IWMS become long-term solutions. These customized systems eventually cause friction with new, business-critical technologies. Now making upgrades to the system becomes cost prohibitive, and the only way forward is to start from scratch with a new deployment.

This expensive outcome is usually prompted by concerns about overinvesting in the proptech upgrades and services needed maintain an IWMS’ optimal performance.

The antidote to this anxiety? A firmer sense of the true cost of ownership (TCO) associated with IWMS. This information can help organizations to invest in technology more strategically and to maintain a more resilient technology stack.

An accurate assessment of the annual costs for IWMS comes down to answering the following questions:

1.  What annual costs occur around IWMS beyond licensing fees?
2.  Is there a process in place to measure TCO throughout the year?
3.  Are operational inefficiencies inflating the annual cost of IWMS?

As one of the industry’s top Archibus experts, we help answer questions like these every day. Here’s a few strategies for IWMS decision-makers to deploy when determining their true cost of ownership.

Understand the full scope of annual IWMS costs

License fees and the expected cost of upgrades are two of the most obvious metrics that come to mind when considering true cost of ownership for IWMS. But we all know that doesn’t tell the whole story. Another variable, the cost of sustainment, must be accounted for when calculating TCO.

What is the true cost of sustainment?

Consider the cost of running your IWMS not just for the next year, but for the next five years or ten years. To get an accurate estimate, you would need account for the cost of adopting new technology, the cost of training new people on your systems as talent comes and goes, the cost of regular enhancements to support the changing needs across your organization, and the cost of maintaining a reasonably short downtime for your technology.

As I previously observed, when organizations fail to budget for these sustainment investments, the maturity of their technology begins to fall behind the curve. Then organizations become vulnerable to critical systems needing full replacements rather than maintenance or strategic upgrades.

Year-round visibility into IWMS uncovers more savings

It’s common for organizations to evaluate cost and performance near the end of the year. But what about from month to month or from quarter to quarter? As organizations attempt to cast a wider net collecting data, they’ll need to determine which systems should be monitored, and how closely, to accurately measure the cost of sustainment.

This data can then be used to better assess if organization is effectively using IWMS to support the business, to improve reporting and capture data related to those business goals, locate possible optimization opportunities, and accurately gauge the cost of upgrades.

These are just a few of the potential upsides of gathering performance data from your IWMS on a more regular basis.

More strategies to lower true cost of ownership

Once organizations begin to wrap their heads around the true cost of operating their IWMS, their next line of thinking is usually how to lower those costs. If that’s where your organization is at, here’s another set of questions to consider:

•  Are the organization’s needs around IWMS and reporting becoming more complex?
•  Does on on-premises or cloud-based solution make the most sense for my organization?
•  Could the organization benefit from sharing responsibilities and costs with a service partner?

At JLL Technologies, we help organizations answer these questions too. Connect with us to learn more about how we support our technology partners or how we can help your organization measure and manage the true cost of operating IWMS.