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Why Choose a SaaS CMMS?

Maintenance has undergone a major digital transformation in the past five years. 3 in 5 companies are now using computerised maintenance management software (CMMS) to run maintenance operations – and that’s not the whole story. 

Early adopters of CMMS technology are now upgrading their initial investments for new SaaS-based CMMS solutions better suited to their business needs. 

According to Plant Engineering, 60% of companies are seeing widespread migration from on-premises to cloud computing, with 22% already using a cloud-based or hybrid CMMS. In addition, a fifth say their cloud or hybrid software is delivered as a service. 

Why are so many companies choosing a SaaS CMMS? Should your maintenance team move away from on-premises technology? Let’s look at the evidence. 

What is a SaaS CMMS? 

Traditionally, CMMS technology has been built on-premises, which means software is installed and run on the computers and servers of the user organisation. But in recent years, more companies have transitioned to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) CMMS solutions. 

Unlike on-premises technology, SaaS solutions are installed on remote servers. Users pay a subscription fee to access the CMMS system online via the cloud. It’s akin to using a music streaming service like Spotify rather than storing your favourite songs on your computer’s hard drive. 

You can learn more about the differences between cloud-based and on-prem technology in our free CMMS/CAFM guidebook

What are the benefits of a SaaS-based CMMS system? 

SaaS technology is gathering traction because it offers practical, financial and operational advantages over on-premises solutions. These include: 

1. Simple infrastructure

One of the major barriers to an on-premises CMMS is the cost and complexity of deployment. In contrast, you can roll out a SaaS CMMS system remotely without installing servers. 

It also integrates with your existing technology via APIs rather than further complicating your technical infrastructure. This ease of integration will help you to establish a holistic maintenance management operation, using and sharing data from multiple platforms. 

A simpler setup means that SaaS CMMS technology is easy to maintain. Everything can be monitored remotely by your technology vendor, rather than your in-house IT team spending endless hours checking performance and fixing bugs. Most patches can be deployed virtually, and your technology provider can make automatic backups and software updates via the cloud to keep you running securely on the latest version.

2. Easily accessible and scalable 

Not only are remote connections more convenient for deployment and upkeep; they also make your CMMS system easily accessible to maintenance team members. 

Rather than being tethered to a specific computer, SaaS CMMS technology can be accessed via the cloud from any device with an internet connection. This means your engineers can check work requests and update their task lists wherever they are if you have a CMMS system with a mobile app. It also makes multi-site roles easier to manage. 

It’s not just access points that are easier to manage, either. SaaS-based maintenance software is simpler to scale as your company adds new equipment and facilities. 

You can also focus on core modules initially, unlocking new functions over time as you become more confident. 

UK food manufacturer Lionel Hitchen is an excellent example of this. When the company upgraded to ShireSystem’s SaaS model, they seized the opportunity to digitise their permit process using the software’s Permit to Work module. 

There are other CMMS modules you may like to introduce later – inventory management for spare parts, for example, or resource planning

3. Incredibly secure 

Data security is a big concern for most companies. Manufacturers are subject to more cyberattacks than any other industry, and there’s been a 33% increase in breaches caused by the exploitation of unpatched software.

The best SaaS CMMS systems (like ShireSystem) are built to the latest cybersecurity standards. But more importantly, they’re easy to update as new legislation and best practices are introduced. 

With a SaaS-based CMMS, your chosen vendor can deploy regular security patches and updates via the cloud, to ensure your software complies with the latest industry security measures and regulations. 

4. Easier cash flow

Many maintenance teams – particularly within small and scale-up businesses – find it easier to cash flow for a SaaS CMMS than to find the budget for an on-premises solution.

Most SaaS-based CMMS solutions have no significant up-front investment because the platform doesn’t require hardware installation and software licence fees. Instead, SaaS technology providers structure payments as a monthly or yearly subscription, helping you accurately plan and manage your business cash flow. 

Many of the best CMMS technology providers also include monitoring, technical support and feature upgrades within your software subscription – so you’re not paying extra to access the whole system benefits.  Plus, you can completely outsource all technical tasks related to your CMMS, helping you to control internal IT costs.

It’s also easier to switch your CMMS if you’re using a SaaS solution. Hopefully, you’ll choose the right software the first time around. But if you make a mistake with an on-premises platform, it’s complicated and expensive to unpick (which is why so many maintenance teams persist with software that doesn’t meet their needs). A SaaS platform is remotely deployed and managed, which limits damage and disruption if you want to change your solution.

To understand the financial impact of investing in on-prem CMMS software versus SaaS CMMS, it’s worth calculating the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for both solutions. A TCO exercise will help you to consider the hidden costs. For example, on-premises technology can become more expensive as you add new users and sites. 

Learn more: What is the Total Cost of Ownership for SaaS technology compared to traditional models?

Upgrade to a SaaS CMMS with ShireSystem 

There’s a reason why so many maintenance teams are switching to the SaaS model: the benefits are compelling. And Elecosoft has seen an uplift in businesses upgrading to our SaaS-based ShireSystem solution. 

ShireSystem is a combined CMMS/ CAFM software used globally across sectors including aviation, automotive, healthcare, education, food and drink manufacturing and retail. Our customers include Ibstock Brick, North Air and Wren Kitchens

We offer single-user and multi-user SaaS licences, making ShireSystem a suitable CMMS for SMEs and large enterprises.

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