By JLL Technologies

3 signs that your IWMS deployment needs a health check

If you’ve implemented or worked with an integrated workplace management system (IWMS) for a significant length of time, you’ve come to recognize an enduring principle: no matter how perfectly the solution meets your needs today, there will come a time when that solution underperforms, because your needs become more complex, and your IWMS isn’t healthy enough to advance.

This scenario may come about even sooner, because early implementation approaches evolve into bigger functionality constraints down the road. New expectations and requirements for how workspaces should be used and operated also lead to new limitations on what teams can accomplish with their IWMS solutions as implemented.

Corporate real estate (CRE) and facilities management (FM) teams risk falling into a vicious and costly cycle of implementing their IWMS solutions, finding out that their features and overall performance no longer align with the needs of their organizations, and having to invest in new IWMS solutions all over again.

There is another way. To break out of this cycle, teams need to identify opportunities to fix—then expand—the functionality of their IWMS solutions instead of replacing them outright. Feedback from JLLT’s IWMS experts highlights these three red flag scenarios as opportunities to fine-tune your IWMS, and make sure it remains relevant to the long-term needs of your organization.

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

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.

2. 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.

3. 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 (left-hand side of diagram). 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.