6 signs that your IWMS deployment needs a health check

If you’ve implemented or worked with an integrated workplace management system (IWMS) for any length of time, you’ve come to recognize an unavoidable problem. No matter how perfectly the solution meets your needs today, there will come a time when that solution underperforms.

That’s because your needs continue to become more complex, and your IWMS isn’t evolving to meet them.

The worst-case scenario for your corporate real estate (CRE) and facilities management (FM) teams as they navigate IWMS functionality gaps is to fall into a costly cycle of implementing an IWMS, finding out that features and overall performance no longer align with the needs of their organizations, and having to invest in new IWMS solutions all over again.

Thankfully, there’s ways to break this costly cycle. Recognizing the right time and opportunities to partner with technology experts will allow your team to find ways to do more with the IWMS you’re already using. Here are six red-flag scenarios that signal it’s time to expand your IWMS’ capabilities before chatter about a new IWMS creeps into your next meeting.

1. Missing capabilities to help you measure and achieve sustainability goals

Chances are your company has goals or mandates related to sustainability. These may come in the form of reducing energy use but can also include new utilization strategies to eliminate resource waste.

Can your IWMS already capture the type of information you’d need to report on your progress toward these goals? If the answer is no, your team may not have a reliable record of truth when it comes to sustainability data.

In cases like these, your team may be tempted to investigate a new IWMS with built-in sustainability capabilities. However, there’s also opportunity to level-up your existing IWMS via specialized modules or by integrating a non-IWMS sustainability tool to help collect energy and usage data.

2. Workplace automation and employee experience data goes underutilized

As more organizations adopt hybrid workplaces, automation and employee experience data is generated but not always captured and utilized by their IWMSes. This means valuable insights into how employees reserve space, collaborate in hybrid environments, and interact with their workplaces with mobile devices are being left on the table.

Even if you have a way to confidently gather employee experience data, you’re still going to need a way to automatically feed this information to your IWMS.

If your IWMS is not already acting as a reliable repository of all the information being collected from your corporate real estate, that’s another signal the health of your existing system is compromised.

3. Increasing amounts of data and processes now live outside the IWMS environment

The threat posed by poor data governance extends far beyond the realm of the workplace. One of the most important ways an IWMS adds value to your organization is by acting as a data intersection for related—but often disconnected—departments like IT, facilities management, and data analytics.

When the IWMS platform is no longer responsive to the needs of these individual teams, however, then department heads are likely to identify their own solutions for managing and processing their data. This results in the IWMS working with a less holistic picture of the entire organization.

In order to resolve the issue without a full reimplementation, your team needs to find ways to expand the functionalities of the IWMS platform in a targeted way and demonstrate to stakeholders that their needs have been addressed with these updates. This requires a solid understanding of stakeholder requirements, IWMS capabilities, and possibly even additional CRE technologies.

4. Workplace data isn’t accessible enough to guide portfolio optimization

There’s no better data to inform decisions about your organization’s real estate portfolio than detailed info about at how employees use those spaces. There are multiple ways to measure this usage, including employee surveys, occupancy sensors, and energy consumption.

However, none of that information can provide reliable reasons to shrink or grow the portfolio on its own. A holistic view, generated by drawing from each of these data sources, offers a clearer picture.

Your IWMS can serve as the lynchpin for this effort. If your current implementation isn’t up to the task, chances are there’s still time to close the gap before a new IWMS is necessary.

5. Recurring inaccuracies have begun to erode trust in data

When recurring inaccuracies begin to appear in reporting, there’s a good chance that your IWMS is accumulating unreliable data from unverified sources. Eric Coyne, an IWMS expert at JLLT, recently reported that one in four issues his team assists IWMS clients with are directly related to gaps in data quality.

In many scenarios, organizations can address these gaps by relying on tools they already have built into their IWMS to create new data standards that their current deployment can collect and measure consistently.

This was the case for the information systems team at Johns Hopkins University when they recognized an opportunity to correct a data quality gap found across their floor plan drawings.

During the most recent Archibus Virtual Users’ Group webinar, senior manager Mark Washington described how he used the CAD environment built into his IWMS to create a “system of record” based on hundreds of new and updated floor plan drawings.

This “system of record” is now used internally at Johns Hopkins University to validate the accuracy of floor plan data and streamline renovations and construction projects.

6. Transformative events set new expectations for the workplace and your IWMS

Every so often, there are unprecedented shifts that fundamentally change our relationship with the workplace. When these shifts occur, the solutions we were using previously won’t be as relevant as they were before, and your IWMS is no different.

Consider life before the pandemic. An IWMS solution was expected to help you analyze occupancy, allocations, seating assignments, and spaces. But what happens now when everyone goes back to the office on very different terms? That list of things to manage and coordinate will be longer, but integral tasks like employee lockers, guest services, and social distancing zones must be accounted for to ensure employee safety and productivity.

Looking forward, decision makers in CRE and FM are faced with two options:

1. Identify and implement a new IWMS with features designed for the needs of a more hybrid-friendly workplace

2. Figure out how to advance their current IWMS to take on these new challenges

The right time to check your IWMS solution’s health

Most offices and facilities are still operating without a full workforce on-site. Consider the upsides to getting your IWMS ready to meet the challenges of the modern workplace before more employees begin their return-to-office process.

Speak with an expert to find out if and how your IWMS could be driving more value for your organization.