It can be tempting to look at cloud-based facilities management programs as just a passing fad. After all, traditional desktop software has dominated the space for decades while cloud-based offerings only arrived on the scene in the last few years. But to help you understand why cloud-based facilities management solutions are here to stay (and how they’ll make your life easier), we’ve debunked some of the myths between the two so you can make smarter and more strategic business decisions that better position your organization for growth.
Without further ado, here are five of the most common misconceptions surrounding cloud versus on-premises software, explained.
Myth #1: Facilities software can be accessed more reliably on-premises than using cloud-based solutions
Instant internet connectivity and lightning-fast load times weren’t always a thing, especially on mobile devices. In the early days of the internet, connections were frequently interrupted—often booting people offline—and generally-speaking, simply installing physical software onto a desktop computer provided more peace of mind for users than an internet-based application ever could. People trusted that not only would all their hard work be saved, but they’d be able to access it later on, too. With desktop software, they could save, open, and close programs without a hitch and that was preferable to the long loading times and sporadic connectivity of the early internet. But those days are long gone.
Today, localized desktop software on a server provides better access only if there’s no other possible way to connect to the internet while in your facilities, or if you have no need for mobile access to facilities software. Those use cases are pretty restrictive. On the flip side, cloud-based platforms can be accessed anywhere you have internet. That covers your office, your manager’s office, your home, or even the grocery store parking lot. This kind of off-premises connectivity is unique to cloud-based software, and that’s what makes it so powerful.
One major benefit of cloud-based facilities management software is full mobility—not needing to have an internet connection to use the application. Here’s an example: ManagerPlus Lightning gives complete access to facilities management software with its native mobile app. The app works even when disconnected from the internet. This means you can manage your facilities anywhere—with just a phone or tablet—even if you’re in an internet dead zone. The versatility of using a cloud-based facilities management software is second to none.
Myth #2: Desktop facilities management software is more stable than cloud-based platforms
This is another myth from the early days of the internet when spotty connectivity led to cloud applications getting a bad rap.
Today’s cloud-based facility management software is far superior to its desktop brethren. Let’s take a look at something as straightforward as software updates. Where desktop can be clunky to update (just think about all those software versus hardware compatibility problems), cloud platforms are updated constantly—behind the scenes—to keep things running smoothly. This just isn’t the case with cloud-based facilities management where all that matters is what browser is being used.
Finally, by nature of the cloud, mobile systems have the advantage of an extended lifespan. Where desktop software has to be manually updated—or replaced completely as hardware becomes obsolete—with the cloud, these upgrades are processed at a data center somewhere. And that means you don’t have to worry about it. Cloud-based facilities management software is stable and lasts for years to come, and that can amount to lower costs in the long run.
Myth #3: On-premises software is easier to customize
Software customization is tricky business but key if you wish to leverage the full power of the software. Unfortunately, most software isn’t ready to go straight out of the box. Though it used to be true that it was easier to customize on-premises software, because the infrastructure, like servers and computers, were housed at your location, you could do much of the customization without having to go back to the creator of the software. However, this is not as simple as it seems.
Modern software is complex. Most times, the customization of software systems requires a dedicated developer to complete the work. This is expensive and time-consuming and it ignores one of the biggest advantages of cloud-based facility management software: built in customization options.
A good cloud-based facilities management system will include two useful pieces to help you with customizations. The first is customization that has been built into the system itself based on industry specifications. As software has grown more advanced, developers have included more options for customization. Companies with more experience, like ManagerPlus, have been serving facilities managers for over 25 years. We know the types of customizations that have been requested, and have designed our platform with those customizations in mind.
The second customization option is an implementation plan. When adopting a facilities management tool, a variety of onboarding packages are typically available. Like with ManagerPlus Lightning, you have the choice of 30-, 60-, and 90-day timelines that provide you with software training and support to get you all set up so that you can make the most of your new facilities management program. You’ll also get the dedicated help of a systems expert to aid your customization needs (meaning you won’t have to hire additional staff).
Myth #4: Facilities management software that uses on-premises servers are more secure than cloud solutions
This claim is closely tied to myth #1. The on-premises systems of decades past offered superior security because web technology was in its infancy. One caveat here: security today is much more of a cat and mouse game, even for cloud tech. As technology has advanced, so have the potential threats in an internet era. Now dedicated security administrators are commonplace for data protection. If you are looking to hire your own information security team, then it is significantly easier to secure your organizations. However, this is often more work than it’s worth, and harder in practice than it is in theory. Maintaining your own security team is also very expensive for the benefits.
Additionally, the benefits you gain from on-site security are miniscule compared with modern cloud security. Cloud applications are actually stored and run from a very secure data storage facility. In the case of ManagerPlus Lightning, this is Microsoft’s Azure data systems. This means that you have two very capable teams working on your security. The fact of the matter is that Microsoft and ManagerPlus have extremely capable information security teams and both companies have much more incentive to keep your data secure than even you do. This means that in practice, you’ll get much better security by trusting the security teams employed by cloud-based solutions.
Myth #5: On-premises facilities management solutions are less expensive
When cloud technology was new, it was more expensive than desktop on-premises software. This isn’t true today. Let's take a look at this side-by-side cost comparison:
Cloud Asset Management Solution
On-Premise Server or Desktop solution
Slightly higher subscription costs
Lower Extended Service Agreement
None; accessible from any device with an internet browser
Medium to high; this could just be one computer or a room of servers depending on the size of your organization.
None; this happens automatically without you doing anything
Time; depending on the method you use, this could take a lot of time, and may not happen very often
None; all maintenance is done in server centers without you needing to do anything
Dependent on your hardware. You must maintain all hardware costs yourself
Required Staff Costs
None—beyond your maintenance staff
High; you'll likely need both IT staff and Security professionals to maintain your hardware and ensure your location’s cyber protection
In the chart above, subscription costs for a cloud-based facility management platform are significantly lower than the total costs of implementing your own on-premises solution. Generally speaking, most of the myths discussed here about on-premises solutions have been perpetuated by the outdated ideas and information still being circulated from the early years of cloud technology.
Cloud-based asset management solutions are the future. With easier implementation, quicker updates, full mobility, and the cost-savings of not having to pay for expensive hardware (or the manpower to maintain it), it’s time to flip the narrative once and for all on cloud versus on-premises facilities management software. Ready to make the leap? We’d be happy to show you the power of ManagerPlus Lightning and how it can transform your business.