The Future of Maintenance Management, Part 6: Better, Cheaper, Faster


It’s hard to imagine today, but as recently as 15 years ago, computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) software was beyond the reach of most organizations. The challenges involved in implementing a CMMS were significant. The software alone could cost as much as 100 times today’s prices. Implementations involved teams of consultants spending weeks or months onsite, racking up huge professional services fees. And after all that money and effort, the features available paled in comparison to the power of modern CMMS applications.

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The Future of Maintenance Management

Today, it’s a very different world. Now CMMS is within reach of every company with maintenance operations, thanks to four major advances:

            More Power, Less Money

Remember floppy drives? Or the sound of a dial-up modem? While those technologies seem old-fashioned today, they were once top of the line. Computer technology grows more powerful—typically doubling every two years—and it gets cheaper over time. This trend, also called Moore’s Law, means more and more companies can afford to integrate high-end software and hardware into their operations, at every level. What does this mean for you? Today’s CMMS software is far more flexible and powerful, and it offers a great deal of bang for your buck.

            Lease or Buy Options

Once it was common to buy packaged software on disks to install on a computer. Updating required more disks, as well as the time and effort to install the update on the machine. While that option is still available, it’s not very common anymore. A more recent trend in software licensing is leasing, also called Software as a Service (SaaS), which allows users to pay a monthly fee in exchange for online access to hosted or “cloud-based” software. SaaS greatly reduces the upfront cost, eliminates the need for local installation and upgrades, and makes it easier for companies to get up and running almost immediately.

            Increased Competition

Increased competition among CMMS vendors has benefited users. As the industry has matured, companies have continued to innovate to earn more customers and to compete effectively with their rivals. The result of that increased competition has been consistent downward pressure on software pricing. That’s good news for CMMS users, who now have numerous affordable, high-quality choices in the CMMS software market.

            Cloud Technology

The use of cloud technology—“on-demand” software applications hosted on Internet-accessible servers—is perhaps the single most important recent change in the software industry. Because cloud computing allows companies to outsource application management and hosting, now even small organizations have access to enterprise-level services. Cloud computing helps organizations get applications up and running faster (often immediately) while reducing onsite implementation and management costs. It virtually eliminates the need for highly skilled, expensive internal IT teams.

These changes have resulted in more options for maintenance management operations. Faster software implementations and reduced costs mean organizations of all sizes have the opportunity to use powerful, affordable, enterprise-class CMMS.

Don’t miss the rest of this series:

Part 1: 11 Trends Shaping Your Workplace

Part 2: Technology Adoption

Part 3: Enter the “Digital Native”

Part 4: Data-Driven Management

Part 5: Mobile Technology

Part 6: Better, Cheaper, Faster

Part 7: Maintenance Software in the Cloud

Part 8: Systems Integration

Part 9: Insourcing versus Outsourcing Analysis

Part 10: Sustainability and Environmental Impact

Part 11: Regulatory Compliance

Part 12: The Internet of Things

Part 13: Riding the Wave of Change