- Buyer's Guide
The advantages of computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) software are well-documented in thousands of maintenance books and Internet articles. However, the benefits of cloud-based CMMS over traditional on-premise systems are less well-known.
Cloud or hosted software means the software is available over the Internet, whereas on-premise software is downloaded and installed on local computers or servers.
Cloud software continues to make headlines as the next evolution of the software industry. Faster Internet speeds, cheaper database storage and the dawn of the smartphone and tablet era have made cloud-based software delivered over the Internet a viable option.
Cloud CMMS applications offer the same level of functionality as traditional on-premise systems but with a number of additional benefits.
With cloud-based CMMS software, you can be up and running in 60 seconds. Once you register, you receive instant access to your CMMS. No time is wasted waiting for a CD to arrive, configuring hardware, installing the software, etc. It is all done automatically with cloud CMMS.
Cloud-based CMMS software is hosted on the vendor's servers so there are no costs relating to server hardware and maintenance, operating system licensing, network configuration or information technology (IT) support. You make use of your existing IT infrastructure such as computers, tablets and mobile phones.
Cloud-based CMMS can be accessed from any Internet connection anywhere in the world. There is no need to configure firewalls and grant access to certain Internet protocol (IP) addresses when users are at home or on the road.
Mobile technology is changing the way businesses work today. Tablets and smartphones are the must-have business accessory as they increase efficiency and productivity like never before. That means spending less time in front of the computer and more time on the front lines. This is great news for maintenance technicians who need instant access to their CMMS in the field as they complete their work. Most CMMS mobile apps can be accessed on any mobile device, so no expensive handheld hardware is required.
Keeping your software up to date is crucial. Software updates offer new features, improvements and workflows that continually increase your efficiency. Upgrades also introduce patches, fixes and security updates that address any bugs in the system. With cloud-based software, updates are included in the subscription and occur automatically every weekend so you always have the latest version of the CMMS at no additional cost.
With on-premise software, you must back up your database to another server at regular intervals or risk losing all your important CMMS data if your hard drive fails on your server or computer. This includes all your asset and work-order history. With cloud-based CMMS software, managed backups are included in the subscription price. Cloud CMMS providers store the data on redundant servers in multiple locations, protecting you from hardware failures and even natural disasters. Many promise more than 99-percent uptime so you can be sure your CMMS will be available when you need it.
This is the responsibility of the cloud CMMS vendors or their hosting provider. They are responsible for data protection, anti-virus updates, secure logins and data encryption. This gives you peace of mind knowing your data is safe.
With on-premise software, if the server goes down, you must wait until your IT guy can get it running again. If this happens over the weekend, the CMMS could be down for hours at a time. Cloud-hosted CMMS applications reside on servers that are monitored around the clock. The servers typically are co-located in facilities that house other Internet applications, so the costs of monitoring can be spread across the entire customer base. Technicians are onsite and ready to get servers up and running again quickly.
If you are considering upgrading or implementing a CMMS for the first time, cloud-based software provides distinct advantages and cost savings over traditional on-premise software. The reliability, mobility and lower total cost of ownership that comes with cloud-based CMMS can give you the competitive advantage you need to take your asset management strategy to the next level.